Latest figures released by the Home and foreign office revealed there was a 17 per cent increase in the amount of forced marriages reported in the UK.
In 2016 there was a total of 1428 cases of forced marriage reported. This was a huge increase from the previous year, which had 1220 cases.
Females had reported 80% (1145) of all cases. The majority of the victims were identified as being from Pakistan with 43 per cent of the 612 cases having been born there.
In London 21% of cases where reported. This was the area with the largest amount of cases reported.
According to the Forced Marriage Unit, the number of cases they gave advice and support to has been on the rise since 2015.
Since 2005, the Forced Marriage Unit has dealt with cases in over 90 countries.
Forced Marriage is a criminal offense, which was implemented by The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act of 2014.
The act said: “That there is a breach when someone is taken overseas to force them to marry; marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage and if someone breaches a forced marriage protection order.”
In a Humberside Police report, it said: ‘Safeguarding Boards understand forced marriage to be a form of abuse and a breach of human rights. It is, therefore, important to safeguard any child, young person or adult subjected to a forced marriage.’
Those people who are married against their will can be under many different pressures. These pressures could be psychological, emotional or physical. Or a mixture of these.
Some feel like they have no choice, as they fear they will be threatened, subjected to physical violence and sexual violence. Others feel like if they don’t marry, they bring shame on their family, mainly in cases of religion. Financial abuse is another reason people can be forced into marriage. For instance, the partner could take wages and not allow the individual to have any money.
Victims are able to apply for a forced marriage protection order if they have been threatened with being forced to marry. The order is designed to protect each individual according to circumstances, such as, to stop someone taking you out of the UK.
Contact the forced marriage unit on 020 7008 0151 if you are trying to stop forced marriage or if you require help to leave a marriage you’ve been forced into. Alternatively, ring 999 in an emergency.