Britain’s s specialist Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has released a new film demonstrating the impact of forced marriage on victims and families.
The film coincides with next week’s October half-term – school holidays are considered “high-risk” for youngsters at risk of forced marriage when they are forcibly taken to countries of origin such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and married off.
The film tells the story of one victim from the point of view of her older brother, who is complicit in arranging her forced marriage but unaware of its true impact until it is too late.
The film’s release follows the launch of a new online training tool designed to help professionals recognise the warning signs of forced marriage and take the right action – at the right time – to help protect vulnerable children, young people, or adults at risk of forced marriage.
The tool is free to use.
“Forced marriage has no place in the UK. This film demonstrates the full horror of its impact, and our determination to stamp out this brutal practice once and for all – defending victims through full use of the law where necessary”, said Foreign Office Minister Grant Shapps.
“We are proud of the work of the FMU and the strong message we send to anyone forcing someone to marry against their will. There is a lot more work to be done, but we are determined to continue working with communities and organisations across the UK both to protect and support victims, but also to punish offenders”, Mr Shapps added.
The FMU is a partnership between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office.
In 2014, the Unit gave advice and support in 1,267 cases of possible forced marriages in over 88 different countries.
More than a fifth of these involved male victims.
If you know someone who is at risk of being forced into marriage, contact the FMU:
Telephone: 020 7008 0151
From overseas: +44 (0)20 7008 0151
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Out of hours: 020 7008 1500 (Ask for the Global Response Centre)
In an emergency, call 999.