Forced marriage will become a crime in England and Wales on Monday 16 June. Dorset Police is encouraging those who believe they are victims or those who suspect an offence is about to take place to come forward and report it.
A forced marriage is where one or both people do not or, in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used.
The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical, including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence, or emotional and psychological; for example when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family. Financial abuse which can include taking your wages or not giving you any money can also be a factor.
Police Sergeant Neil Wright, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Forced marriage is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men. It is also a form of domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.
“If you are being forced in to a marriage without consent, believe you are at risk of being taken overseas and being forced to marry, or you know someone who is – please have the confidence to come forward and contact Dorset Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- Telephone: 0800 5999 247