Officers have obtained a forced marriage protection order for South Yorkshire’s first identified male victim of forced marriage.
This order makes the first issued by the force to protect and safeguard a teenage boy from becoming a victim of forced marriage, as forced lead for honour based abuse T/Detective Inspector Suzanne Jackson explains:
“Whilst we have issued a number of force marriage protection orders for both girls and women across South Yorkshire, this is the first order we have issued to protect a man.
“This case represents a huge step forward in our ongoing commitment to raising awareness of and working to prevent honour based abuse. In instances of honour based abused 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.”
As well as serving orders to protect the 19-year-old man, officers also obtained protection orders for his three younger siblings. Officers made applications for the further three orders to enable the appropriate safeguarding measures to be put in place to protect their safety. Again this was used as a preventative tactic as it is recognised siblings and family members are at greater risk of honour based abuse if it has already occurred within a family.
DI Jackson continued: “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 5-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.”
If you have any concerns in relation to forced marriage or female genital mutilation please contact either police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also get support and information from third party support centres such as Ashiana on 0114 255 5740 and Karma Nirvana 0800 5999 247.