Archive for the ‘Forced Marriage’ Category

Only 5% of ‘honour’ crimes reported to police are referred to CPS

Charity says police in the UK are failing the victims of ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage and FGM

The police are failing the victims of “honour” crimes, with just 5% of reported cases being referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, a leading charity has warned.

The number of cases of “honour” based violence, forced marriage and FGM reported to the police has increased by 53% since 2014, figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show.

However, despite the rise in reporting, the volume of cases referred to the CPS for a charging decision is the lowest it has been for five years.

“More victims of ‘honour’ based violence are coming forward to the police than ever before but worryingly the evidence suggests those seeking justice are being failed by the system,” said Diana Nammi, the executive director of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/07/only-5-of-honour-crimes-reported-to-police-are-referred-to-cps

As Africa tackles child marriage, young survivors speak out

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Sitting on the floor and dressed in black, the 15-year-old held her baby as panicked tears welled in her eyes. Her husband, two decades her senior, could kill her if he found out she was telling her story, she said.

She was married at age 13 in the West African nation of Guinea because her parents feared she could harm her marriage prospects by having premarital sex. At the time, she said, she had not even developed breasts.

“I was given to a man that I didn’t choose before my body was even ready to have sex,” she said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “I couldn’t even move for a week afterward because I was swollen and bleeding.”

Child marriage remains deeply entrenched in West and Central Africa, home to six of the 10 countries with the highest rates in the world. Rights groups and political and religious leaders from across the region gathered in Senegal this past week to seek ways to curb the practice.

Outspoken survivors of child marriage urged them on.

More than half of girls in Guinea are married before age 18. While the country recently banned marriage for those under that age, observers say the practice remains widespread. Some girls enter arranged marriages during times of insecurity or when families are under economic strain.

“This is a complex issue driven by poverty, cultural norms and families trying to do the best for their children,” said Save The Children International CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt. “But until we break the cycle where the only way a girl can give her family honor is to marry and have children, then we will not change this.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-5026499/As-Africa-tackles-child-marriage-young-survivors-speak-out.html

 

We Talked to Students Whose Families Want Them in Arranged Marriages

our parents and Tinder are two things that should never be combined. But that’s what arranged marriages are like. Instead of an app, it’s your parents suggesting who you should hook up with (till death do you part, though).

Let’s clear up that arranged marriages aren’t necessarily forced marriages. Arranged marriages feel like your parents are holding your hand when you decide whether or not you want to swipe right. Some parents grip a little firmer than others. A forced marriage is when they grab the phone out of your hands and swipe for you. But that’s illegal in Canada, the United States, and a bunch of countries in Europe.

VICE: How have your parents tried to set you up?
Sokalan: Ever since I was a kid, my parents would do this thing where when I would say, “I want to be an astronaut,” and ten years later they would turn that into, “You said you wanted to study rocket science.” They did that with marriage, too. They would ask me if I like girls, and obviously, I was really young so I would be like “Gross, no.” So they would say, “OK, so we’ll pick your wife. Is that OK?” and being really young, I was like, “Yeah, sure.” Ten years down the line, that turned into, “You agreed to this. You have to go through with it.” So this summer, my parents want me to go back to Sri Lanka to meet some people. “People” being the keyword. They have a whole roster of girls laid out for me.

Fifth of CPS cases are alleged sex crimes or domestic abuse

Alleged sex crimes and domestic abuse offences now account for one in five cases pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service, it has been revealed.

They made up nearly 20% of the organisation’s caseload in 2016-17, compared with less than a tenth a decade ago after a huge surge in the categories, new figures show.

The rise tallies with a sharp jump in reports of sexual abuse to police seen in recent years in the wake of high-profile investigations launched after the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Authorities are also mounting increasing numbers of investigations involving the internet, including child sexual abuse, harassment and revenge pornography cases.

An in-depth report from the CPS details how more defendants than ever before are being prosecuted for sexual offences in England and Wales. The number of rape prosecutions completed rose from 4,643 in 2015-16 to a record 5,190 in 2016-17.

Prosecutions for sexual offences excluding rape also reached a new peak of 13,490 in the latest financial year. Together with domestic abuse cases, the alleged crimes made up 19.3% of the CPS’s caseload, compared with 7.1% a decade ago.

There were year-on-year falls in prosecutions for “honour-based” violence and forced marriage, the report shows, while there were no prosecutions for female genital mutilation.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/10/fifth-of-cps-cases-are-alleged-sex-crimes-or-domestic-abuse

Latest figures reveal more than 40 million people are living in slavery

Forced marriage is included for first time in worldwide statistics that show ‘money and debt’ to be at the heart of the exploitation

An estimated 40.3 million people were victims of modern slavery in 2016, a quarter of them children, according to new global slavery statistics released today.

The figures, from the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation, show 24.9 million people across the world were trapped in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage last year. Children account for 10 million of the overall 40.3m total.

The 2017 Estimates of Modern Slavery report calculates that of 24.9 million victims of forced labour, 16 million are thought to be in the private economy, 4.8 million in forced sexual exploitation and 4.1 million in state-sponsored forced labour including mandatory military conscription and agricultural work.

“What is startling about these new estimates is the sheer scale of the modern slave trade and the fact that we have 40 million people across the world in some form of modern slavery is simply not acceptable,” said Fiona David, executive director of global research at the Walk Free Foundation.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/sep/19/latest-figures-reveal-more-than-40-million-people-are-living-in-slavery

Why forced marriage?

What is the connection between forced marriage and slavery? At its core, slavery involves treating people as if they are property

When I was thirteen, even though I didn’t realise it at the time, I was incredibly lucky to be ‘suffering’ through high school and working at the local burger joint on weekends.

Not all girls are this fortunate.

Consider Shahida’s situation.

When Shahida was 13, her father arranged for her to marry a 45-year-old man who had promised her family money in exchange.

She was very unhappy with her husband but endured life with him for a year before running back to her home. Her father was very angry. He beat her and yelled at her to go back to her marriage, but Shahida thought that even this was not as bad as life with her husband. When she refused to return, her father dug a deep hole in the ground. He forced her into it and began covering her.

Shahida still wonders if he really would have buried her alive if the neighbours hadn’t heard her screaming and stopped him.

What is the connection between forced marriage and slavery? At its core, slavery involves treating people as if they are property. What can you do if you own a car or a mobile phone? You can drive it, you can sell it, give it away, trade it in, take it to the rubbish dump if you choose.

Shahida’s experience illustrates the connection between slavery and forced marriage only too well. Being traded for money like a piece of property. Forced to have sex with no regard to your health, physical or psychological, or other wants or needed. Being brutally threatened to be buried alive when you try to leave.

http://news.trust.org/item/20170918115342-4ztc2

Parents deny breaching forced marriage order after trying to take children out of UK

Two parents have denied trying to take their children out of the country in the face of a court order.

The man and woman from Teesside, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty to four charges at Teesside Crown Court today.

They are accused of breaching a forced marriage protection order by trying to take their children out of the country.

They deny flouting the order by “attempting to remove (the children) from the jurisdiction of England and Wales” more than a year ago.

They were stopped at the departure gate at Newcastle Airport on August 5 last year.

It is alleged they tried to board a flight to Dubai with their children aged four to 15, with a connection flight booked to Islamabad in Pakistan.

The forced marriage protection order was imposed at Middlesbrough County Court in January 2016.

Such orders are imposed to prevent forced marriages or protect people in a forced marriage.

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/parents-deny-breaching-forced-marriage-13589006

 

Rape, forced marriage and mutilation – women tell their harrowing stories to Home Secretary

Amber Rudd visited The Halo Project which supports victims of forced marriage, FGM and domestic abuse.

Survivors of domestic abuse and forced marriage told their harrowing stories to one of the UK’s most senior politicians.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd visited charity The Halo Project, which supports victims of forced marriage, domestic abuse , honour based violence and female genital mutilation.

She was there to find out how the Home Office could further support the project and combat extremism.

Mrs Rudd spent around an hour with the charity in central Middlesbrough and heard some inspiring and shocking stories from survivors.

One woman, who did not want to be named, spoke of her journey from her native Nigeria to Middlesbrough.

She said: “I was on the verge of committing suicide.

“I was a victim of domestic violence and I was forced to marry someone.

“I tried to run from my life because it was the only way I could get myself out.

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/rape-forced-marriage-mutilation-women-13556857

Forced marriage law is failing

Only one in 30 suspected forced marriages in England is leading to a prosecution.

In the past seven years 8,170 cases of suspected forced marriages were identified by the government’s forced marriage unit. There have only been 395 referrals to the Crown Prosecution Service since 2010, however, of which 268 prosecutions were completed, according to the CPS’s violence against women and girls reports.

During the same period, about 1,250 forced marriage protection orders were issued to protect girls and women at risk, and assist with repatriating victims. Last year 246 were issued, up from 217 in 2015.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/forced-marriage-law-is-failing-l82r6pprv

Parents accused of breaching forced marriage order by trying to fly children out of UK

Parents accused of trying to take their children out of the country in the breach of a “forced marriage” court order have appeared before Teesside’s top judge.

The Teesside man and woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Thursday.

They are accused of breaching a forced marriage protection order by trying to take their children out of the country.

They have not yet entered pleas.

They were stopped at the departure gate at Newcastle Airport on August 5 last year.

It is alleged they tried to board a flight to Dubai with their children aged four to 15, with a connection flight booked to Islamabad in Pakistan.

The forced marriage protection order was imposed at Middlesbrough County Court in January 2016.

Such orders are imposed to prevent forced marriages or protect people in a forced marriage.

Their case has now been adjourned until September 7 for further investigations to take place.

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/parents-accused-breaching-forced-marriage-13459685

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