Forced Marriage Now a Crime – new law

Forced Marriage a crime Theresa May Home Sec

Despite introducing a new law on making forced marriage a crime the Government says the offence continues to be a big problem especially during summer holidays time.

In June, there was first ever forced marriage conviction in UK after new law was introduced in 2014. A Cardiff man was sentenced to 16 years after admitting making a 25-year-old woman marry him under duress. He also pleaded guilty to charges of rape, bigamy and voyeurism at Merthyr Crown Court. The court heard he threatened to kill her father unless she married him.


Home Secretary, Theresa May has brought in a new law that will combat the offence and carry a maximum of seven years in prison.  Theresa May said she is proud that Britain has taken a leading role in bringing perpetrators to justice.

The new law will also apply to UK nationals overseas who are at risk of becoming the victim of a forced marriage. Campaigners believe this groundbreaking legal change is a ‘huge step forward’ and will mean everyone will have the #Freedom2Choose.

Since 2008, courts have been able to issue civil orders to prevent victims being forced into marriage.  Now the new law will be able to send offenders to jail. This is a legal aspect that has been missing and now gives support to those who need it

Forced Marriage

Ministers say it will protect thousands of potential victims each year.  Below is are figures of the offence that has been carried out for some time without legal monitoring.

In 2013 the Government’s Foreign Marriage Unit dealt with 1,302 cases.  82% of victims were females, 18% male – 15% were under the age of 15.  The cases involved 74 different countries with 43% relating to Pakistan, 11% to India, 10% to Bangladesh.

This is a film produced by Southwick Media for the Freedom2Choose campaign.

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