Teachers may get power to halt forced marriages
The Government has revealed that teachers, victim support organisations, councils and social workers will be given the power to halt forced marriages, in a new scheme that will come into practise at the end of this year.
The forced marriage protection order will be introduced to help protect vulnerable teenagers being forced into marriages, and to give them the support they may need if they wish to oppose their families.
A third party, such as a teacher, will be given the power to go to court to impose a forced marriage protection order, legally halting the family from imposing marriage. If needed the order will also take further measures to protect the victim, including ordering family members to keep away from them, and also ordering for all passports to be handed to the courts.
The new scheme will also mean the victim does not have to speak out in court against their family. The Ministry of Justice has stated, ‘An application made on a victims behalf allows the victim to be one step removed from the court proceedings.’
Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, Bridget Prentice commented on the order, ‘This is really vital work. When you look at the situations some of the people affected by forced marriages will be in, it is clear that not all of them will be able to apply personally to the courts for protection. And some victims might not want to take court actions against members of their own family.’