‘Forced marriages should be a crime’

An expert in forced marriages has backed plans to make the
practice a specific criminal offence.

Jasvinder Sanghera, Asian affairs manager at charity Refuge, who
ran away from an arranged marriage at 15, said people were “not
being held to account” for forced weddings.

People who force others to marry can be charged with offences
such as kidnapping and false imprisonment.   But forcing someone to
marry is not a specific crime.

A consultation launched this week by the Home Office and Foreign
Office sets out the advantages and disadvantages of creating a new
offence. It acknowledges that victims of forced marriage could be
deterred from seeking help because of fears that their families
could be prosecuted.


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