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Victim Protection For Forced Marriages - New Law Announced

Victim Protection For Forced Marriages - New Law Announced

25 November, 2008

New legislation to protect victims of forced marriage and prevent others from the same fate comes into force today.

The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 will enable courts to prevent forced marriages and order those responsible for forcing another into marriage to change their behaviour or face jail.  It also provides recourse for those already forced into marriage.

Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said:

“This new law is a powerful tool that will help ensure that no-one is forced into marriage against their will and those already in such marriages will receive protection.

“It is fitting that the law comes into force on White Ribbon Day; the ribbon is a symbol of hope and challenges the acceptability of domestic violence.

“Our policies reinforce that hope and send a clear message that we are committed to providing support and help to victims and that violence of any kind will not be tolerated.”

Under the Act, a Forced Marriage Protection Order will contain terms that are designed to protect the victim in their particular circumstances.  Failure to comply with an order could lead to imprisonment. 

Examples of the types of orders the court may make to prevent a forced marriage from occurring are:
 

• to hand over passports;
• to stop intimidation and violence;
• to reveal the whereabouts of a person; and
• to stop someone from being taken abroad.

The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act can be viewed at:  http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2007/20070020.htm

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