A new academic paper argues the UK is "struggling to cope" with how they respond to honor based violence. It's author, Mohammad Mazher Idriss is an expert on honor based violence, forced marriage and domestic violence in South-Asian communities.
In a recent essay for The Conversation, Idriss says men "have become the forgotten victims and as a result there is very little help available to them.
Statistics released by the Forced Marriage Unit in 2016 reveal there were 1,428 reported cases of forced marriage in 2016; 1,145 involved women — 283 cases involved men.
"This demonstrates that men can also be forced into marriage" the report states.
A roadshow launching in Manchester, England, hopes to raise the profile of male victims of honor based violence. Policy makers, academics and survivors will share their experiences and work around honor based violence and forced marriage. Idriss sites "resistance or dismissiveness" by some organizations to address the help men need.
"Barriers for men to report their abuse also exist in the form of concepts of masculinity, honor, shame. All these issues can prevent male victims from coming forward," Idriss writes, calling for more refuges to specifically serve the needs of men.
Forced marriage protection orders (FMPO) were introduced in 2014 to prevent arranged marriages when someone is forced to marry against their will. Local authorities are given powers by the court to seize passports to stop people being taken abroad to marry.
A potential victim can apply for a FMPO at county courts in England and Wales or at a High Court if they are threatened with forced marriage — or already in one. The court order includes measures to prevent the marriage from taking place, confiscating a passport, or restrictions on contacting the victim. Breaching the court order constitutes contempt of court, which carries a prison sentence of up to two years.
The UKs Forced Marriage Unit which is run by the Home Office and the Foreign Office deals with around 1,200 cases a year, however there has only ever been one successful conviction to date.
A mother of four in Birmingham has been jailed for four and a half years for tricking her daughter into thinking she was going to Pakistan for a holiday where instead she was forced to marry a relative.
It's hoped the sentence will send a strong message to families and communities complicit in forcing women, or men to get married against their will.
So the first conviction of a forced marriage in the crown court in Birmingham — and a mother was convicted.— Maz Idriss (@Maz_Idriss) May 22, 2018