New UK law saves woman from forced marriage in Pakistan

February 12th, 2009 - 4:52 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb. 12 (ANI): A new UK ruling has saved a-22-year-old Pakistani woman from a forced marriage in Pakistan. British police used the new legislation to restrain her father. With the support of her family members, the East Lancashire resident contacted police in January saying her father was forcing her to get married in Pakistan against her will.
Officers used the legislation that came into effect in November to prevent her father from sending her out of the country, the Telegraph reports.
A court order made the father liable for immediate arrest if he breaks the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007.
Orders can include a requirement to hand over passports, stop intimidation and violence and disclosure of a person’’s whereabouts.
Sergeant John Rigby, of a community cohesion team said, This is our first order but we expect to see a gradual build up of requests to implement the legislation. Luckily it was at a point where we could look at a preventative and proactive approach without her having to give statements or look at criminal proceedings.
Forced marriages are distinct from arranged marriages, which take place with the consent of both parties.
According to Home Office statistics, 85 per cent of victims of forced marriages are women, aged 15-24. Around 90 per cent of them are Muslim and 90 per cent are of Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage. (ANI)

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