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Forced marriage – the right to choose

10 March 2011

South Wales Police have this week advised that they are dealing with the largest number of cases of forced marriage and honour based-violence they have ever seen. In the last year the force has dealt with 49 cases. The figures have been released to coincide with International Women's Day and to keep the spotlight on the important issue of forced marriages.

In response what was considered to be a growing problem, the Government issued guidance and guidelines on forced marriages back in November 2008. These helpful tools provide advice regarding the possible warning signs or indicators that victims of forced marriages may display and the necessary steps that should be taken to ensure the safety and protection of individuals and their children.

In the two years since the guidance and guidelines became available, the problem has shown no sign of letting up. If the South Wales Police figures are indicative of the national position and the future trend, local authorities and schools are likely to find identifying and dealing with the risk of forced marriage a continuing problem.

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