Hege Storhaug, HRS
Et fem år gammelt jentebarn ”giftes bort”. Da vet man at flere er involvert. Foreldre antakelig. “Ektemanen” og familien hans. En imam. Og kanskje enda flere.
Jeg blir egentlig ordløs.
For hva skal man si? Har du noen ord?
Storbritannia og straffeforfølgelse av kulturrelaterte overgrep er en skandale. De var det første landet i Europa som innførte en særlov mot kjønnslemlestelse, i 1982. Hvor mange saker har de hatt for domstolen? Riktig gjettet: ingen.
Hvor mange rettskraftige dommer har de hatt knyttet til tvangsekteskap? Ingen.
Og ikke fortell meg at temaet er ferskt for britene
Da er jo det store spørsmålet nå dette: Hva skjer med dem som stod bak at et fem år gammelt barn ble giftet bort? Får vi endelig en solid fellende dom for overgrepene som er/kan være begått?Som voldtekt.
I artikkelen i Daily Mail fremkommer det også at av de anslagsvis 400 tilfellene myndighetenes team fikk på bordet i løpet av ett år, er 66 av ofrene handikappede og 10 identifiserte seg som homoseksuelle , biseksuell eller transseksuelle.
A girl aged five is thought to have become Britain’s youngest victim of forced marriage.
She was one of an astonishing 400 children helped by the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit during the last year, it has emerged.
The shocking revelations have come to light as a public consultation into criminalising forced marriage draws to a close today.
Amy Cumming, joint head of the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), told the BBC that more than a quarter – 29 per cent – of the cases it handled in 2011-12 involved minors.
She said: ‘The youngest of these was actually five-years-old, so there are children involved in the practice across the school age range.’
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) told Mail Online that one in ten of the cases involved victims aged below 15, while 19 per cent of those affected were aged 16 to 17-years-old.
In the horrific case of the five-year-old girl, the authorities would not say where the marriage took place or give any more details to protect the child.
Fionnuala Murphy, of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, said it deals with an alarming 100 cases of forced marriage every year.
She told the BBC: ‘We have had clients who are in their very early teens; 11-year-olds, 12-year-olds.
‘The youngest case we had was nine-years-old.’
The organisation is among many that want forced marriage to be made a criminal offence.
The Government said last year that there at least 5,000 to 8,000 cases of forced marriage in England and the number of reported cases is rising annually.
At the time, Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi said it was a disgrace that forced marriage was only a matter of civil law.
The politician said forcing someone to do anything against their will, by violence or by coercion, is ‘inhumane and unacceptable’.
She added: ‘I have met some of the victims. They speak about wedlock being used as a weapon and the horrors to which this can lead, such as rape, abuse and unwanted pregnancy.’
The FMU is a joint-initiative between the FCO and the Home Office. In 2011, the unit investigated 1,468 suspected cases of forced marriage, but many more are feared to go unreported.
Of those, 66 involved victims with disabilities and 10 identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. A total of 78 per cent of victims were female.
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said: ‘We are determined, working closely with charities and other organisations doing a tremendous amount in this area, to make forced marriage a thing of the past.’
A decision on the consultation is expected later this year.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: ‘Forced marriage is an appalling form of abuse and we are determined tackle it.
‘That’s why we have held a consultation on making it a criminal offence.
‘That consultation closed today and we will analyse the responses before announcing the way forward.’