From today, anyone who forces someone to marry against their will in England and Wales faces up to seven years in prison, whilst anyone found to be in breach of a forced marriage protection order (FMPO) could face up to five years.
Polly Harrar, Founder of The Sharan Project says:
“We welcome the Prime Ministers decision to criminalise forced marriage in the UK. The government has sent a clear message to the world that this is a serious issue and will not be tolerated.
“It is now up to us and organisations alike to change the mindsets of families pressurising people to marry against their will. It is not going to be easy but with the law in place, we are confident we can save many more lives.
“This announcement is a step in the right direction not just for victims previously affected but for those that are currently at risk as they will be confident to come forward knowing we are here to protect them”.
If you feel you are at risk of forced marriage contact us on 0844 504 3231 or the Forced Marriage Unit: +44 (0)20 7008 0151. Out of hours: 020 7008 1500 (ask for the Global Response Centre).
To support Sharan Project and help victims of forced marriage please text SHRN12 £10 to 70070.