Police get court orders to protect three females at risk of forced marriage in Sheffield

Temporary detective inspector Suzanne Jackson, of South Yorkshire Police
Temporary detective inspector Suzanne Jackson, of South Yorkshire Police

Court orders have been granted to protect three females at risk of forced marriage in Sheffield.

The Forced Marriage Protection Orders for the trio were issued after South Yorkshire Police presented evidence suggesting they were at risk of being forced to marry.

Under the orders it is illegal for the females to be forced to marry or to be taken abroad for their weddings.

Officers made the application to the courts after investigating concerns raised by a member of the local authority over the safety of the females.

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Temporary detective inspector Suzanne Jackson, force lead for honour based abused and female genital mutilation, said: "FMPOs are a powerful and effective method of prevention that enable us to protect victims and potential victims of honour based abuse.

“It is important we are able to take these measures as forced marriage isn’t just a marriage, it can mean repeated rapes and enforced pregnancy on both women and children.

"For any female this is horrific, particularly for younger girls or females who have learning difficulties and are unable to consent to a long term arrangement made by parents and family members.

“It is these detrimental and long-term effects caused by honour based abuse we remain committed to working with our partners to identify, prevent and protect victims and potential victims.

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“To enable us to effectively achieve this it is vital professionals in education, health and local authority services look out for and report any concerns they may have to police, especially around school and summer holidays.

“In all cases we work closely with our partners and support services to take action and will always where appropriate work with the family court to obtain protection orders.

"Our focus and commitment remains working to safeguard females who are at risk and to seek prosecutions for perpetrators of this abuse.

“Thankfully in this case, as a result of the diligence of a member of the local authority, we were able to take the necessary steps and obtain the protection orders.

"I would therefore encourage anyone, whether you have concerns or notice parents and carers requesting extended leave to countries where harmful cultural practices like forced marriages and FGM still continue, to not be afraid to question it and report it.

“I would like to offer my reassurance that any type of honour based abuse is not tolerated by South Yorkshire Police and we will always take action to stop it.”

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Anyone with concerns in relation to forced marriage or FGM should call 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Information and advice can also be provided through support centres such as Ashiana on 0114 255 5740 and Karma Nirvana on 0800 5999 247.