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Domestic Abuse - Honour-based Violence

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Northamptonshire Police is committed to tackling honour-based violence and works with partner agencies to support those at risk of harm.

Honour-based violence is a crime or incident which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/ or the community.

Forced marriage

It is very important to differentiate between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage. An arranged marriage is an agreement between both parties, entered into freely and is a practice that has worked successfully in many cultures for many years.

Forced marriage is a marriage conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties, where duress is a factor. Duress can include physical, psychological, sexual and emotional pressure. It can happen between people in this country or between someone from this country and someone abroad. Forced marriages are a form of domestic abuse and are dealt with as such by police.

Are force marriages a criminal offence?

On the 16 of June 2014 new legislation came into effective under the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to make forcing someone to marry a criminal offence. Often, victims do not want to report to the police as they feel they will be disgracing the family's honour; however we encourage victims or those already in a forced marriage to seek support and help. Forced marriages are a legitimate issue to report to us and we will support and protect the victim and investigate criminal offences.

Are force marriages a criminal offence?

Force marriage itself is not a criminal offence, however the offences associated to a forced marriage are.

Where someone has been forced to marry then inevitably there will be an element of criminality. Offences can include conspiracy, threatening behaviour, assault, kidnap, abduction, theft, (often of official documents such as a passport) threats to kill, imprisonment, and murder. Sexual intercourse without consent is rape, regardless of whether this occurs in a marriage or not.

Often, victims do not want to report to the police as they feel they will be disgracing the family's honour; however we encourage victims or those already in a forced marriage to seek support and help.

Forced marriages are a legitimate issue to report to us and we will support and protect the victim and investigate criminal offences.

There are many support agencies which can also provide help and support.

Karma Nirvana
0800 5999 24
www.karmanirvana.org.uk

Confidential helpline providing emotional and practical support and advice for victims and survivors (male and female) of forced marriage and/or honour-based violence.

Foreign and Commonwealth assistance

The Forced Marriage Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth office
0207 008 0151 www.fco.gov.uk
fmu@fco.gov.uk

Forward
FORWARD (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development) is an African Diaspora women led UK-registered campaign and support charity dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health and rights of African girls and women. Tackles female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and related rights of girls and young women.
FGM Specialists: 020 8960 4000
www.forwarduk.org.uk

Northamptonshire Sunflower Centre
01604 888221

Victim support
01604 603477
www.victimsupport.org.uk

NSPCC
Childline: 0800 1111
Help for adults: 0808 800 5000
www.nspcc.org.uk

Asian Child Protection Helpline

  • Bengali speaking advisor - 0800 096 7714
  • Gujarati - 0800 096 7715
  • Hindi - 0800 096 7716
  • Punjabi - 0800 096 7717
  • Urdu - 0800 096 7718
  • English - 0800 096 7719
  • 0808 800 5000 (helpline)
  • 0800 056 0566 (text phone)

 

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