Second-Ever Forced Marriage Conviction Sends Parents to Jail for 8 Years

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Forced MarriageLaw & Policy

A couple from Leeds has been jailed for 8 years for forcing their teenage daughter to marry. They tricked their daughter into travelling to Bangladesh to visit relatives, but upon arrival they told her she was to marry her first cousin.

The girl’s father threatened to slit her throat and “chop her up” when she refused.

“He was trying to get me to say yes but at no point did I say yes,” the teenager told a jury at Leeds Crown Court. “I thought it was disgusting because it was my first cousin and stood my ground.”

The Independent reports:

The teenager contacted the British High Commission and they collaborated with Bangladeshi authorities to bring her safely back to the UK.

In May, the parents were found guilty of forced marriage and using violence, threats and coercion.

Speaking at the time of the conviction in May, Michael Quinn from the CPS said: “This victim was cruelly and deliberately misled by her parents who were determined to take her to Bangladesh for a marriage she did not want. Once she was there, they told her that whether or not she agreed, she would be married, and that wedding arrangements were already in hand.

“When she refused, she was assaulted and threatened with further violence. She showed courage in contacting the authorities for help, and provided valuable assistance with the investigation and prosecution of these offences.”

This case is the second-ever conviction since forced marriage was made a criminal offense in the UK in 2014.

“This successful prosecution sends a clear message that forced marriage is a very serious crime and those responsible will be prosecuted,” added Quinn.

Last year the government’s Forced Marriage Unit investigated 1,196 reported cases of possible forced marriage, but officials say the number is likely far higher due to underreporting.

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sue line
3 years ago

How sad this young person had to go through this. I wish her all the luck in the world.