A new law approved in the UK with a punishment of up to 7 years prison if a UK national got into marriage forcibly either in UK or abroad.
Earlier to this law, victims were to give preventive civil order against their unwilling wedding. Now, the legislation will build confidence in victims to complain and law enforcing agencies will shield them and thousands of other people each year. The new law states forcing a British citizen into unwilling marriage abroad is as criminal as it happens in Queensland, as youngsters are taken to their ancestral homeland for this social dilemma, especially in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. The British Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) reports, about two third cases belonged to communities from South Asian countries. Hopes are to protect potential victims as campaigners welcomed it saying a “huge step forward”. “Forced marriage is a tragedy for each and every victim, and its very nature means that many cases go unreported,” said Home Secretary Theresa May. “I am proud to say that the UK is already a world leader in the fight to stamp out this harmful practice with the government’s FMU working hard to tackle this terrible practice in the UK and overseas.” “Today’s criminalization is a further move by this government to ensure victims are protected by the law and that they have the confidence, safety and the freedom to choose.” Figures say FMU dealt with 1302 cases, last year. The cases involved 74 different countries with 43% related to Pakistan, 11% to India and 10% to Bangladesh with 82% female victims and 18% males. Horribly, 15% of which were less than 15 years age. Jasvinder Sanghera of the Karma Nirvana charity said it was a “historical day and the right move” and that it was important for victims to report any abuse. “Nobody is going to be forcing you to prosecute or criminalize your parents. Reporting is the first thing you have to do and it will be your choice to pursue a criminal justice process.”