From today, forced marriage becomes a crime in England and Wales, carrying a maximum prison sentence of seven years. Forced marriage is when one or both people do not, or cannot, consent to marry and pressure or abuse is used.
The new law has been welcomed by PCC Stephen Bett, who said: “Forced marriage removes a person’s fundamental right to free choice. It can lead to a life of slavery and abuse and, from today, it rightly becomes a crime.”
Stephen has given his backing to an awareness campaign being run by Norfolk-based Freedom Charity, which works to protect the lives of children and young people at risk of forced marriage and help victims of abuse. “I support the #Freedom2Choose campaign because, quite simply, everyone should have the right to choose.”