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Edward Bennett
Edward Bennett
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Forced Marriage Protection Orders come into force
Date:4 NOV 2009

New powers that protect those at risk of forced marriage came into force this week in the form of protection orders.

Forced Marriage Protection Orders give local authorities the powers to seek a protection for vulnerable adults and children without first having to seek leave of the court.

The orders can be used to prevent anyone entering into any arrangements for engagement or marriage, seize passports to stop someone from being taken abroad and reveal the whereabouts of a person.

Failure to comply with an order could lead to imprisonment. Courts are also able to initiate steps to return those already forced into marriage back to the UK.

Eleven voluntary and charitable organisations have also benefited from funding for a pilot scheme providing a dedicated trained adviser to help with the fight against forced marriage. The finding will help them in their role in supporting victims who need to leave home, need support through the court process, and in rebuilding their lives.

Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said: "We are cutting legal red tape so that local authorities are empowered to give vulnerable people the protection they need as fast as possible.

"Forced Marriage Protection Orders are helping victims to tackle intimidation and threats of violence and abduction, sometimes from family members who are difficult to stand up against."

To download Forced Marriage Guidance click here.