Orders made to protect Rotherham children from forced marriage

Orders made to protect Rotherham children from forced marriage

By Gareth Dennison | 04/02/2020

Orders made to protect Rotherham children from forced marriage

VULNERABLE children at risk of forced marriage have been given the protection of full court orders.

Initial proceedings began last autumn over the group of youngsters, which includes boys and girls.

The orders are a safeguarding tool to help police and partner agencies and breaches can result in prison sentences.

A 42-year-old woman from Rotherham was arrested and bailed in October on forced marriage offences.

Det Sgt Tom Bishop, from Rotherham’s Protecting Vulnerable People team, said: “Concerns were initially raised about the welfare of several children as a result of a referral from one of our partner agencies.

“With the FMPOs now in place in the form of full-term orders, we and our partner agencies are able to effectively safeguard these vulnerable children and ensure that they are not forced into marriage.

“There are numerous adults and children in different communities across South Yorkshire who are protected by forced marriage protection orders. 

“I hope this demonstrates to victims and affected communities that we treat these reports incredibly seriously and work closely with our partners to ensure we safeguard vulnerable people.”

Sally Hodges, RMBC’s interim children’s services director, welcomed the orders as part of ongoing efforts to protect the children involved.

She added: “We will continue to work closely with the police and raise concerns where we believe other young people may be at risk of forced marriage.”

Forced marriage is where one or both parties do not consent. Often, pressure and abuse is used against victims.

The practice differs from arranged marriages, where both parties consent to families or others helping to choose their spouse.

If you have concerns about forced marriage, call South Yorkshire Police on 101. If a life is at risk, call 999.

Specialist national charity Karma Nirvana can be contacted on 0800 5999 247 and the Forced Marriage Unit at fmu@fco.gov.uk.

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