Forced marriages under fire

New laws to stop forced marriages have been introduced nationwide today.

The Forced Marriage Act states that anyone convicted of trying to force someone into marriage could be jailed for up to two years, while victims can apply for forced marriage protection orders.

The court injunctions may include measures such as handing over passports, preventing someone from being taken abroad, and stopping intimidation and violence.

Breaching the order could result in up to two years in prison and could require family members to reveal a person’s whereabouts.

Justice minister Bridget Prentice said: “This new law is a powerful tool that will help ensure that no one is forced into marriage against their will and those already in such marriages will receive protection.

“Our policies reinforce that hope and send a clear message that we are committed to providing support and help to victims and that violence of any kind will not be tolerated.”

A statement from the Ministry of Justice claims that the Act will provide greater protection for those at risk and provide the best solutions to protect victims.

Alan Campbell, Home Office minister, added: “We are determined to do all we can to support victims of forced marriage, prevent others from becoming victims and provide police and other agencies with the tools and powers they need.”