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Learning from Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews – Forced Marriage, The One Chance Rule

Date: Monday, 07th Aug 2023 | Category: General

The One Chance Rule

Forced marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not consent to the marriage but are coerced into it. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and
emotional pressure. In the cases of some vulnerable adults who lack the capacity to consent, coercion is not required for a marriage to be forced.

Honour-based violence

The terms “honour crime” or “honour-based violence” or “izzat” embrace a variety of crimes of violence (mainly but not exclusively against women), including assault, imprisonment and
murder where the person is being punished by their family or their community. They are being punished for actually, or allegedly, undermining what the family or community believes
to be the correct code of behaviour. In transgressing this correct code of behaviour, the person shows that they have not been properly controlled to conform by their family and this is to the “shame” or “dishonour” of the family. It can be distinguished from other forms of abuse, as it is often committed with some degree of approval and/or collusion from family and/ community members. Victims will have multiple perpetrators not only in the UK; HBV can be a trigger for a forced marriage.

Learning from Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews have shown those working directly with children and families often have only ‘One Chance’ to speak to a victim and to safeguard a child. Under British law, there is very little that can be done once a child has left the country, however, a Forced Marriage Protection Order can save a child from forced marriage and needs to be applied for at the very earliest opportunity. A court can make an order in an emergency so that protection is in place immediately and prevent children being taken out of the UK.

Anyone can contact the Forced Marriage Unit and there is no Threshold. Take your One Chance to save a child if you suspect Forced Marriage or Honour Based Violence

Visit the Forced Marriage Unit here 

Or for more information visit SSCB website Guidance section here