Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Britain’s first forced marriage sentence: a lot more still to do

Last week, the British courts handed down its first ever sentence to a perpetrator of forced marriage. The perpetrator – a 34-year-old businessman from Cardiff – raped and imprisoned a woman, before forcing her to marry. It was just a year ago today that forced marriage became a crime in the United Kingdom.

Halo Project

David Cameron occurs Britain’s first Girl summit in 2014. The summit discussed forced marriage and FGM. Photo: Getty Images

What does this sentencing mean? Well, first and foremost, it will be a huge relief for the survivor, a young woman who had reportedly been dragged through the long and tortuous process of the defendant flip-flopping on his plea. This is all we can know about the case without putting the survivor at risk.

This unknown woman can now begin to try to put her life back together. Yet, she is the only one of an unknown number of victims living in this country to have been brought justice, those whose families – those who are supposed to support and love them no matter what – would often sooner see dead over shaming the family.


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‘Thousands’ at risk from FGM in Greater Manchester

Up to 2,000 girls are believed to be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Greater Manchester, the area’s police and crime commissioner has said.

Tony Lloyd said the practice was “barbaric” as he campaigned to raise awareness and support victims.

In the past two days, officers intercepted 20 families at Manchester Airport, mostly on flights from Africa.

Police are also investigating cases in Wigan and Bury and have reports of girls at risk in Trafford.

FGM involves procedures that include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons.

Although banned in the UK, thousands of girls are subjected to FGM each year, with Greater Manchester identified as one of six “hotspots” in the UK.

Jaria Hussain-Lala

The practice does incredible damage, says Jaria Hussain-Lala of the Greater Manchester FGM Forum

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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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