‘Tip of the Iceberg’: UK Records 1,428 Forced Marriage Victims in 2016

Britain’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) recorded over 1,400 victims in 2016, up from 1,200 the previous year.

Nazir Afzal, former head of the North-West Crown Prosecution Service, told the taxpayer-funded broadcaster that “one of the major things stopping victims coming forward is the codes of silence that exist in the family”.

Afzal likened the culture within communities where forced marriage is common to organised crime, explaining that “it’s like the mafia. You cover up, as you are so scared of the consequences.”

The BBC reported 11,744 so-called “honour crimes” in the UK between 2010 and 2014, with campaigners claiming far more likely going unrecorded.

The Halo Project estimates these crimes include an annual 12-15 honour-related killings, again noting that the true figure could be far higher.


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