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Archive for March, 2013

Deputy Commissioner speaks out against forced marriages

Women who find themselves victims of forced marriage and honour based violence are being urged by Derbyshire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa, to seek help from the police.

Mr Dhindsa, speaking out in the lead-up to International Women’s Day on Friday, said: “Forced marriage has far-reaching impacts, and particularly with regard to safeguarding children and families.

“I am, however, pleased to say that multi-agency professional help is increasingly emerging. Both the police and partner agencies know about these crimes and ready to help victims find a solution.”

He added: “Only this week we saw the launch of a Government-funded smartphone Freedom app. It provides information and sources of help aimed not just at potential victims – who so often don’t know where to go for help – but also at their friends, teachers and professionals.”

He also acknowledged Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise to make forced marriage a criminal offence and said he hoped it would be sooner rather than later. It is hoped that legislation will be brought forward this year or next.


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Victim of forced marriage aged two

Young people between the ages of 16 and 25 are most at risk of being forced into marriage in the UK – with children as young as two being targeted.

Foreign Office Minister for Consular Policy Mark Simmonds said: “Forcing someone to marry is an appalling and indefensible practice which is why the Government is committed to eliminating it, with young people particularly vulnerable.

“We will use every means at our disposal, whether it’s engaging with schools and communities or through using mobiles and social media to reach potential victims. We want those who are worried about forced marriage to know that there is help out there.”

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