Forced Marriage Procedures One Chance to Save a Life

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Responding to Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence. Multicultural sensitivity is no excuse for moral blindness" Mike O'Brien former Solicitor General. Forced Marriage in the UK. A marriage conducted without the valid consent of both parties where duress is a factor." A Choice by Right (June

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Forced Marriage Procedures One Chance to Save a Life

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1. Forced Marriage Procedures One Chance to Save a Life

2. Responding to Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence

3. Forced Marriage in the UK

4. Child Protection Procedures If a young person is under 18 years of age forced marriage is a ‘child protection’ issue Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board have developed multi-agency procedures to help us all protect young people who have, or fear they will be, forced into marriage Allegations/reasonable concerns must be reported to: First Response – Staffordshire Children’s Social Care– 0800 1313126 or Child Abuse Central Referral Unit (Police) 0300 1234455 NB In the case of an adult over the age of 18 years, report the matter to the police

5. Some General Principles: “One chance rule” – take it seriously, make it your problem Ensure Confidentiality – including electronic data systems Follow multi-agency procedures (SSCB) Establish contact arrangements Always think – is this child at risk? If so, ACT Follow your agencies referral procedures – make sure First Response or the Police are informed immediately Depending of the location of the agency workers, it may be worth highlighting cross border referral systems e.g. Stoke, Wolverhampton, DerbyDepending of the location of the agency workers, it may be worth highlighting cross border referral systems e.g. Stoke, Wolverhampton, Derby

6. Adults Remember adults may also be forced into marriage Including adults with disabilities This presentation focuses on procedures that must be followed if a child is involved However, adults will also receive protection, help and support It is important that the Presenter highlights the fact that adults can also be subjected to Forced marriage. The high profile media case of Trainee Dr Humayra Abedin in December 08 is a good example. She was 33 when she was lured to Bangladesh on the pretence of her mother’s illness, and there held captive. However, this presentation focuses on Staffordshire procedures in respect to children and young people because the statutory duty in regard to under 18 year olds, re child protection, is different to that of adults. Adults, however, do have a right to be protected and there are procedures in place which support them. The recent Third Party Civil Protection Act is an example of a legal process which can be used on behalf of children and adults in these situations. It is important that the Presenter highlights the fact that adults can also be subjected to Forced marriage. The high profile media case of Trainee Dr Humayra Abedin in December 08 is a good example. She was 33 when she was lured to Bangladesh on the pretence of her mother’s illness, and there held captive. However, this presentation focuses on Staffordshire procedures in respect to children and young people because the statutory duty in regard to under 18 year olds, re child protection, is different to that of adults. Adults, however, do have a right to be protected and there are procedures in place which support them. The recent Third Party Civil Protection Act is an example of a legal process which can be used on behalf of children and adults in these situations.

7. An Arranged Marriage is not a child protection issue Family take the lead in arranging match Couples have a choice as to whether to proceed Young People over the age of 16 years can enter into an arranged marriage in the UK providing they have the consent of both sets of parents It is worth mentioning that there are many young people between the age of 16yrs and 18yrs in the UK who freely and happily enter into marriage. This is not a child protection concern. It only becomes so when one or both parties are being coerced into the marriage. It is worth mentioning that there are many young people between the age of 16yrs and 18yrs in the UK who freely and happily enter into marriage. This is not a child protection concern. It only becomes so when one or both parties are being coerced into the marriage.

8. Why do forced marriages happen? Controlling unwanted behaviour and sexuality, particularly that of women Preventing ‘unsuitable’ relationships Peer group or family pressure Protecting perceived cultural or religious ideals which can often be misguided Attempting to strengthen family links Family honour or long-standing family commitments Ensuring land remains within the family Assisting claims for residence and citizenship Providing a carer for a disabled family member / reducing the ‘stigma’ of disability

10. Dishonouring the family Could include : Wearing make up Meeting young men e.g. whilst truanting Friendships which family disapprove of Clothing Having mobile phone numbers on their phone which are unknown to parents Having a sexual relationship outside marriage Refusing or leaving the chosen ‘spouse’ The issue of Forced Marriage is closely related to concerns around so called ‘honour based violence’. The issue of Forced Marriage is closely related to concerns around so called ‘honour based violence’.

11. So called ‘Honour’ killings In October 2002, Heshu Yunes, a 16 year-old Kurdish girl was murdered by her father because she had a boyfriend. In 2007 Arash Ghorbani-Zarin, 19, was murdered by his girl friend's father and two brothers (16 and 18) to "vindicate the family's honour"

12. One Chance to Save a Life Banaz Mahmoud – killed in the name of Honour. Banaz paid the ultimate price for walking out on her arranged marriage. Brutally raped and murdered by uncle and cousins. Her body was found in a suitcase in a garden in Birmingham.

13. Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence can and do happen in Staffordshire How can you help to protect these young people?

14. Mediation Mediation, reconciliation, and family counselling as a response to forced marriage can be extremely dangerous. There have been cases of young people being murdered by their families whilst mediation was being undertaken. Reinforce with participants that they should never take it upon themselves to contact the family to try to mediate or advocate on the young person’s behalf in cases of potential forced marriage or honour based violence.Reinforce with participants that they should never take it upon themselves to contact the family to try to mediate or advocate on the young person’s behalf in cases of potential forced marriage or honour based violence.

15. The One Chance Rule! Take it seriously Be prepared. Anyone can be faced with a concern about potential Forced Marriage This could come as a direct disclosure: verbal or in the form of a note Sometimes, the young person does not tell, but his/her friend or sibling does Believe the person. Telling you is a life changing decision Take them to a room where there is privacy & they cannot be overheard or seen See the Young Person on their own if possible Do remind your audience that these principles apply to adults, including vulnerable adults, who make disclosures. Do remind your audience that these principles apply to adults, including vulnerable adults, who make disclosures.

16. If you aren’t in a position to be able to talk to the person (e.g. because you work on the reception desk) find someone appropriate (e.g. Designated Person for Child Protection) who can, without delay! Make sure that the young person is comfortable with whoever you suggest – and check this before disclosing the allegation to your colleague Don’t ask them to come back later – remember ‘One Chance’ Don’t tell friends and colleagues – the information may get into the victim’s community. This could put him/her at risk of severe harm. Secure your records and be wary of electronic recording systems

17. Find out: Why he/she feels at risk e.g. Family history of forced marriage (siblings, cousins) Being pulled out of education Threats Being subjected to violence Being pregnant Having a girlfriend/boyfriend that parents don’t approve of Sexuality – Gay or Lesbian Imminent and unanticipated holiday overseas Recent family involvement with the community ‘marriage broker’ This is a situation where as much relevant information as possible should be gathered during the initial disclosure. The more background information the police and children’s social care have, the more likely it is that they can be protected and supported, and found if they have been removed from their home.This is a situation where as much relevant information as possible should be gathered during the initial disclosure. The more background information the police and children’s social care have, the more likely it is that they can be protected and supported, and found if they have been removed from their home.

18. Always Record Date of disclosure Details of third party disclosing if relevant Name of person under threat Address Nationality Age Date and place of birth Full details of allegation/fears Names and address(es) of parents/carers School/College/Work details Passport details/driving licence number – if known THIS INFORMATION IS SENSITIVE AND CONFIDENTIAL. SECURE IT. Do remind participants that this information is very confidential. Care must be taken with both paper records and electronic systems. Strong cultural and community networks may put the young person at more risk if the information was available to workers unsympathetic to the young person’s plight. Do remind participants that this information is very confidential. Care must be taken with both paper records and electronic systems. Strong cultural and community networks may put the young person at more risk if the information was available to workers unsympathetic to the young person’s plight.

19. Good Practice Ask how the young person can be contacted If it is by mobile phone, establish a code word to ensure that the agency worker dealing with matter is speaking to right person Consider risks of interception to emails, text messages, post Consider arranging ‘safe’ places to meet, e.g. public places such as a library Consider contact via a trusted third party chosen by young person Remember it is unlikely to be the worker from your agency who is the prime lead in the investigation and protection of the young person. Safe and secure means of contact for the investigators needs to be established. Remember it is unlikely to be the worker from your agency who is the prime lead in the investigation and protection of the young person. Safe and secure means of contact for the investigators needs to be established.

20. Good Practice If young person does not require immediate protection, who can they go to in case of emergency? Give young person contact number for Forced Marriage Unit and details of local support agencies Advise them not to travel overseas if it can be avoided Recommend he/she gives copies of important documents such as passport and birth certificate to trusted friend Explain to audience that Children’s Social Care would have to apply for a court order but police have powers they can use immediately. Also explain that because these are children, under the age of 18 years of age, they must share the information that the young person may be at risk of ‘significant harm’ with children’s social care even if the young person does not want them to share the information. The young person must be advised about this, and the reasons explained (i.e. the person they are disclosing to is not able to ensure protection). However, the young person should also be assured that the matter will be handled sensitively and their own wishes taken into account. Explain to audience that Children’s Social Care would have to apply for a court order but police have powers they can use immediately. Also explain that because these are children, under the age of 18 years of age, they must share the information that the young person may be at risk of ‘significant harm’ with children’s social care even if the young person does not want them to share the information. The young person must be advised about this, and the reasons explained (i.e. the person they are disclosing to is not able to ensure protection). However, the young person should also be assured that the matter will be handled sensitively and their own wishes taken into account.

21. Don’t send them away if you think they are at risk. Contact the Police Child Abuse Central Referral Unit 0300 1234455 and wait for their arrival If the risk is imminent, ring 999 Remember only the Police can take a young person into immediate protection under Police Protection Powers Good Practice cont.

22. “Missing Persons” Be wary of people who are seeking information about the whereabouts of a person – even if they are from a statutory agency You may be shown photos, posters, leaflets – begging for information for the distraught parents and family Remember there may be sinister motives for the campaign (e.g. Bounty Hunters) Do not offer any assistance in these cases – including displaying posters. Remind audience that this may be an issue in domestic violence situations generally and applies to adults as well as children. There is a well known case worth highlighting: Jack and Zena Briggs have had to move home 27 times since their secret wedding in 1994 after her family hired a bounty hunter to avenge - by death, if need be - Zena's decision to marry a white man. When Jack and Zena (not their real names) decided to elope, they knew there would be problems but hoped that eventually her Bradford family would accept Jack as his family accepted her. However, a death sentence still hangs over the couple. Bounty hunters even punished them by terrifying Jack's elderly mother, who was dying of cancer. The pair wrote a book about their experience called ‘Runaways’. Tell audience that bounty hunters (can be women, can be white European) pay taxi drivers and shop owners to carry photographs of the women and contact them with any information. They put pressure on employees in employment centres and benefit agencies to give out confidential information and infiltrate refuges and hostels. Remind audience that this may be an issue in domestic violence situations generally and applies to adults as well as children. There is a well known case worth highlighting: Jack and Zena Briggs have had to move home 27 times since their secret wedding in 1994 after her family hired a bounty hunter to avenge - by death, if need be - Zena's decision to marry a white man. When Jack and Zena (not their real names) decided to elope, they knew there would be problems but hoped that eventually her Bradford family would accept Jack as his family accepted her. However, a death sentence still hangs over the couple. Bounty hunters even punished them by terrifying Jack's elderly mother, who was dying of cancer. The pair wrote a book about their experience called ‘Runaways’. Tell audience that bounty hunters (can be women, can be white European) pay taxi drivers and shop owners to carry photographs of the women and contact them with any information. They put pressure on employees in employment centres and benefit agencies to give out confidential information and infiltrate refuges and hostels.

23. Some people have to hide from their families and communities due to the threat of violence If you have information, contact the police who should know if the case is genuine, and how to progress it safely Remember community networks are deep and extensive so beware of using colleagues as interpreters, or local taxi firms to take the young person to a police station or place of safety “Missing Persons” cont.

24. Remember: General Principles: “One chance rule” – take it seriously, make it your problem Ensure Confidentiality – including electronic data systems Follow multi-agency Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Establish contact arrangements Always think – is this child at risk? If so, ACT

25. Under 18 years, you must: Follow your agencies referral procedures – make sure First Response (Staffordshire Children’s Social Care) or the Police are informed immediately If child resident in Stoke, the Child Abuse Central Referral Unit of the Police covers both Authorities 0300 1234455 Remind audience that ‘children’s social care’ in Stoke and Staffordshire are separate entities.Remind audience that ‘children’s social care’ in Stoke and Staffordshire are separate entities.

26. One Chance to Save a Life Rukhsana Naz, from Normanton, Derbyshire, wanted to divorce her husband, whom she had seen only twice since her marriage when she was 15, and marry her boyfriend. But her mother and brother considered she had "brought shame on her family" and killed her. Rukhsana was 19 years old and 28 weeks pregnant when she was restrained by her mother, and strangled to death by her brother

28. Resources Leaflets, information and guidance for victims, survivors and practitioners can be found at: www.fco.gov.uk/en/fco-in-action/nationals/forced-marriage-unit/ Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 – can be accessed from the ‘useful links’ menu on the above website Resources for schools can be found on the Every Child Matters website www.everychildmatters.gov.uk

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