South Yorkshire Police steps in to protect man from forced marriage

South Yorkshire Police has made history after being granted a protection order for their first identified male victim of force marriage.

Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 8:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th June 2018, 8:21 am
Sheffield's Family Court
Sheffield's Family Court

The force described the move as a 'huge step forward' in efforts to prevent 'honour-based abuse'.

A forced marriage protection order was granted for the man, 19, after it was discovered that he had received threats for going through with a marriage to which he had promised his family he would consent when he was just five years old.

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CRIME: Attack on six men stabbed in Sheffield bar remains unsolvedDetective Inspector Suzanne Jackson said that although the force has applied for numerous forced marriage protection orders for girls and women, this case was their first for a male.

She said: "In instances of honour-based abuse it is often assumed it only happens to girls and women, however there are also many boys and young men who are victims as well."

Ms Jackson added: "An investigation was launched after the young man was found to have received threats for not complying to a pre-arranged marriage his family had promised he would consent to when he was just five-years-old. This truly highlights how no thoughts are given to the feelings or the longer-term impact caused to victims and their welfare.

"Understandably it can be very difficult for children and victims who often feel unable to report and potentially prosecute their parents. However we are determined to ensure we can protect all victims and will utilise different tactical options, such as protection orders via the Family Court, to achieve this.

"It's not always about using traditional policing methods, which can often discourage victims from seeking our help, it is about ensuring the correct action is taken; and we are committed to using all possible means available to take positive action to help those who are being harmed.

"Forced marriage, like all types of honour based abuse, is not only against the law but is detrimental to the lives of victims, who are often forced against their will or pressured to accept this abuse.

"I hope these applications send out a strong message, firstly to potential or current victims of forced marriage that we are able to assist and support you but also to those who still subject their sons and daughters to this, that we will take positive action to prevent this from happening. Our main priority is to protect all members of our communities, raise awareness and encourage anyone who may be, or has been a victim, to report it to police."

South Yorkshire Police also obtained protection orders for the man's three younger siblings.