POLICE are urging victims to report cases of forced marriage when it officially becomes a crime next week.
Anyone affected or those who suspect an offence could take place in the future should get in touch.
A forced marriage is where one or both people do not or, in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used.
The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical, including threats, physical violence and sexual violence, or emotional and psychological harm. Sergeant Neil Wright, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Forced marriage is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men. It is also a form of domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.
“If you are being forced into a marriage without consent, believe you are at risk of being taken overseas and being forced to marry, or you know someone who is – please have the confidence to come forward and contact Dorset Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“We have officers trained to support victims and investigate these types of offences.”