Opinion Former Article

NUT: Forced marriage is violence against women

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement today, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT welcomes the decision by the Coalition Government to criminalise forced marriage. This is violence against women and the strictest measures should be applied. These measures must also address the risk that young people may be taken abroad to force them into marriage.

“In outlawing forced marriage this additional protection of the human rights of young people should place consent above coercion. However, the legislative package must be accompanied by significant investment in preventative work, including at school and community level.

“Changing attitudes is the key to preventing and detecting this form of abuse of women. Making forced marriage a specific criminal offence can help empower young women to realise that they can challenge it and should seek support. For that reason, there must be safeguards to ensure that young women are not deterred from making complaints.”

END pr95-2012
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