A NUMBER of Rotherham children who were at risk of forced marriage have been granted a protection order after a 42 year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of forced marriage offences.
The Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPO) were granted at Sheffield's family court on Friday after an application by police officers from the Protecting Vulnerable People unit (PVP) in Rotherham, with support from Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire Police's legal services department.
The orders were granted after concerns for the welfare of "several" children were raised, said a police spokeswoman.
Lats Monday, a 42-year-old woman from Rotherham was arrested on suspicion of forced marriage offences and has been bailed pending further enquiries.
Temporary Det Sgt Tom Bishop from Rotherham’s PVP team said the welfare of several children had been raised as a result of a referral from partner agencies.
“Police and children’s social care took swift, positive action," Det Sgt Bishop added.
"All of the children are now effectively safeguarded by the FMPOs that have subsequently been granted by the courts in Sheffield.
“Across South Yorkshire there are a number of people, adults and children alike, who are currently protected by FMPOs and I hope this demonstrates to victims and affected communities that we treat these reports incredibly seriously.
“The court will consider in due course whether further orders are to be made.”
Forced marriage is a marriage carried out without one or both parties’ consent, conducted against their will. Often, pressure and abuse is used against victims.
This kind of marriage is different to an arranged marriage in that both parties consent to help from families or a third party in choosing their spouse in an arranged marriage.
"FMPOs are an effective safeguarding tool to help police and partner agencies protect vulnerable victims," added the spokeswoman. "They can sit alongside a criminal investigation, as well as being sought independently of any criminal proceedings."
Breaches of a FMPO can result in a prison sentence.
If you have concerns about forced marriage, call police on 101. If a life is at risk, call 999.
Karma Nirvana, a national charity that specialises in help and support for victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage,can also be contacted on 0800 5999 247.
The Forced Marriage Unit can also be contacted on 020 7008 0151, emailing email@example.com or visit @FMUnit on Twitter.