Forced Marriage Protection Orders granted to protect children in Rotherham

Forced Marriage Protection Orders have been granted to protect children deemed at risk in Rotherham.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 7:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 7:03 am

South Yorkshire Police said the orders were granted for ‘several children from Rotherham identified as being at risk of forced marriage’ after a court hearing.

Both the police force and Rotherham Council were involved in the applications for the orders, which are aimed at protecting children deemed at risk of being forced into marriage against their will.

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Forced Marriage Protection Orders have been issued in Rotherham

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South Yorkshire Police said: “Forced marriage is a marriage that is carried out without one or both parties’ consent, conducted against their will. Often, pressure and abuse is used against victims.

“Forced marriage is different to an arranged marriage in that both parties consent to help from families or a third party in choosing their spouse in an arranged marriage.”

Breaches of an order can result in a prison sentence.

Detective Sergeant Tom Bishop said: “Concerns were initially raised about the welfare of several children as a result of a referral from one of our partner agencies.

“With the Forced Marriage Protection Orders now in place in the form of full-term orders, we and our partner agencies are able to effectively safeguard these vulnerable children and ensure that they are not forced into marriage.

“There are numerous adults and children in different communities across south Yorkshire who are protected by Forced Marriage Protection Orders. I hope this demonstrates to victims and affected communities that we treat these reports incredibly seriously and work closely with our partners to ensure we safeguard vulnerable people.”

Sally Hodges, Interim Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council, said: “We welcome the granting of these orders, which will ensure the ongoing protection of these young people. We will continue to work closely with the police and raise concerns where we believe other young people may be at risk of forced marriage.”

If you have concerns about forced marriage, call South Yorkshire Police on 101.

Karma Nirvana, a national charity which specialises in help and support for victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage, can be contacted on 0800 5999 247.