New statistics published on Monday (14 March 2016) show that, last year, the Forced Marriage Unit supported or advised on 1,220 potential forced marriage cases.
The data also shows that the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) received approximately 350 total forced marriage-related telephone calls per month last year.
According to the newly released statistics, many cases the FMU dealt with last year concerned young adults: 329 (27%) of cases involved victims below 18 years of age, and 427 (35%) centred around victims aged between 18 and 25. In 980 (80%) of the cases handled by the FMU in 2015 the victims of forced marriage were female, and 240 (20%) cases involved male victims.
Forced marriage was made a criminal offence in 2014 under s 120 and s 121, Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
. Since its establishment in 2005, the FMU has dealt with thousands of cases of forced marriage relating to over 90 countries across the world. As the issue of forced marriage is not exclusive to any one culture or country, cases have been evident in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East. Last year, however, 14% of cases received by the FMU had no overseas element to them and took place entirely within the United Kingdom.
The full FMU statistics are available to view or download in PDF format here