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A marriage must be entered into with the free and full consent of both parties; you should feel you have a choice. A forced marriage is where one or both individuals do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. Forced marriage is illegal in Great Britain. It is, in some cases, a form of child abuse and is a serious abuse of human rights. The pressure put on people to marry, against their will, can be physical (including threats and actual physical and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel as though they are bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse is also a possibility.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is also sometimes referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision. There are no health benefits to FGM and it is recognised internationally as a human rights violation.
FGM causes untold physical and emotional trauma, whilst enforcing the inherent gender inequality found in cultures where it is practised. FGM procedures can cause:
- Severe bleeding and, in some cases, death
- Problems with giving birth, later in life – including the death of the baby
- Lifetime susceptibility to infection
- Psychological damage.
What is dis-honour based abuse or violence?
Dis-honour based abuse is a violent crime or incident that may have been committed to protect or defend the so-called honour of the family or community.
It is often linked to relatives or acquaintances, who mistakenly believe that someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of that culture. For example, dis-honour based violence might be committed against people who:
- become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion
- want to get out of a forced marriage
- wear clothes or take part in activities that might not be considered traditional within a particular culture.
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By Barnie Choudhury – Eastern Eye Children as young as 14 are contacting the police, using a special app, over fears they will be married against their will during the coronavirus lock down. That’s according to a leading charity which specialises in helping victims of forced marriage. The leap in numbers is an unintended consequence […]