Forcing someone to marry will become a criminal offence in England and Wales, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The decision to create a specific offence of forced marriage follows a twelve week consultation which took views from the public, victims, charities and frontline agencies. The new law will be accompanied by a range of measures to increase protection and support for victims and a continuing focus on prevention.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: “It is the right of every individual to make their own choices about their relationships and their future. Forced marriage is an appalling practice and by criminalising it we are sending a strong message that it will not be tolerated.
“But we know that legislation alone is not enough and we will continue to work across government and with frontline agencies and organisations to support and protect victims.”
Building on the work being done nationally and by local agencies and charities on the ground, the government has announced that it will invest more than half a million pounds over the next three years. The funding will help deliver further measures including: