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Forced Marriage is now a Crime

Forcing someone to marry against their will is now a criminal offence in England and Wales, the Government has announced.

The new legislation, which came into force on 16th June, also applies to UK nationals overseas who are at risk of becoming the victim of a forced marriage.

Forced marriage can involve physical, psychological, emotional, financial and sexual abuse including being held unlawfully captive, assaulted and raped.

In 2013, the government’s Forced Marriage Unit gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage to more than 1300 people.

The maximum penalty for the new offence of forced marriage is seven years imprisonment.

Law enforcement agencies will also be able to pursue perpetrators in other countries where a UK national is involved under new powers defined in legislation.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0.

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