Posts Tagged ‘abuse’

Boy aged eight among known potential victims of forced marriage in UK

A boy as young as eight is among scores of children feared by judges to be at risk of forced marriage as official figures reveal police are struggling to bring cases to court.

Met Commander Mak Chishty

Met Commander Mak Chishty is the national police lead for forced marriage and honour-based violence. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

The schoolboy – thought to be one of the UK’s youngest known potential victims of forced marriage – is among 71 children, teenagers and women in West Yorkshire guarded by special court orders since 2014.

His case came to light as police figures, obtained by the Guardian, showed that only a fraction of investigations into forced marriage result in a prosecution. Many are dropped because victims are too scared to give evidence against their abuser.

In West Yorkshire, five of the 51 cases investigated since June 2014 resulted in a suspect being charged.Thirty-five of these investigations were dropped due to “evidential difficulties”, of which 16 were “victim-based” problems, the figures show.

There was a similar pattern in the West Midlands, where 19 of its 31 investigations resulted in no charges – eight because the victims did not support further action. There has been one conviction so far under a new forced marriage law introduced in June 2014.

Read More: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/20/boy-eight-among-known-potential-victims-forced-marriage-uk

Forced marriage in the UK? It’s a bigger problem than you think

Last month, seven British survivors of ‘honour’ abuse and forced marriage spoke out in public about their experiences. They explained how it felt to be abused by those closest to them – their family and community members – in the name of ‘honour’. This marked the UK’s first ever Day of Memory for victims of ‘honour’ killings.

The survivors spoke about how their families’ rules, or ‘honour’ codes, forbade them from doing things that many of us take for granted, from texting a boy to wearing make-up. They talked about how they were made to feel as though this was normal, and that the abuse that resulted from breaking these ‘honour’ codes was their own fault. Some talked about how they felt as though they had nowhere to go as no one outside their community was listening or willing to believe them.

Read More: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/08/forced-marriage-uk-its-bigger-problem-you-think

Student ‘in hiding after abuse’

A frightened student is at a “confidential address” after her parents abused her following concerns about her “westernised behaviour”, a family court judge has been told.

The woman’s father had told her “I am going to kill you now”, and said she needed to “die in a religious state”, Mr Justice Hayden heard. She had called police and left the family home with the help of officers when her parents were out, her lawyer said.

Barrister Katy Chokowry said the woman’s parents did not like her wearing leggings because they were “western clothing”.

She said the woman, who worked part-time at a McDonald’s restaurant to help her finance her studies, was “in fear for her safety”. Detail of the case emerged late today at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London. The woman was not identified and Ms Chokowry did not give details of her nationality or religion.

But she said the woman was in her 20s, had arrived in the UK several years ago, had a boyfriend in Pakistan and was studying at a university. Mr Justice Hayden was told that there were fears that the woman would be made to marry “the son of a family friend” and he made an order preventing the woman’s parents from forcing her to marry.

 

Read More: https://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/student-in-hiding-after-abuse-11363978462753

Estrangement: ‘I haven’t spoken to my family for 6 years’

When I was twelve years old, I was helped to escape the threat of forced marriage and honour abuse. I’d seen it happen to other members of my family and suffered various abuses myself, although I was made to feel like the ‘attitude problem’ was mine. The local police force and social services helped me get away, but that wasn’t the end of my ordeal.

Shaheen Hasmat hasn't spoken to her family for six years

For thirteen years afterwards I struggled to overcome great confusion and emotional turmoil in an effort to maintain some semblance of a relationship with my parents. In this I was unsuccessful: the abuse continued, in less extreme forms that prolonged the psychological damage that had already been wrought.

 

Read More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11046600/Estranged-from-my-family-I-havent-spoken-to-my-parents-in-six-years.html

Forced marriage has always been a crime in spirit

David Cameron is right to criminalise forced marriage. This abominable, inhumane act robs people of their lives.

In deciding to criminalise forced marriage – the act of coercing a person to marry against their will – the government has made a bold statement: that this heinous, inhumane, oppressive act is never acceptable. The decision couldn’t come soon enough. The government’s forced marriage unit (FMU) provided advice or support in almost 1,500 cases last year, but the true picture is thought to be even graver. One study in 2009 estimated that up to 8,000 women and men, girls and boys could be entering into unwilling unions each year, often being torn from their lives in Britain to live in an unknown land with an unknown spouse.

Shockingly, a third of victims assisted by the FMU last year were minors – schoolchildren who suddenly became spouses either here or abroad –the youngest reported case is thought to have been just five years old.

We must be clear. This is not like arranged marriage, where two parties consent. In forced marriage, to resist betrothal is to risk ostracism, abuse and even murder. Currently, the law does not go far enough. Forced marriage protection orders were introduced in 2008, but breaching an order is only a breach of civil law. The message this sends out is a dangerous one: it says that Britain equates this enforced matrimony with mere civil misdemeanours.

 

 

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