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Forced Marriage Cops

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48 minutes
Anna Hall
Executive Producer:
Brian Woods

Rukhsana is fleeing from her father who has threatened to kill her if she doesn’t get married to her cousin Sajida. Forced into a marriage 16 years ago, she is now fighting to protect her 4 daughters from the same fate. Manchester Police are investigating the biggest cases of Forced Marriage they have ever seen with 15 children who need to be protected. We have unprecedented access with the Manchester cops following the year since forced marriages became illegal in this country.

In June 2014 it became illegal in the UK for someone to force a person to get married. The problem is how difficult this is to police.

Director Anna Hall  spent 18 months with Greater Manchester Police Public Protection teams whose job it is to investigate this hugely culturally sensitive area.

Victims are frightened to come forward because they don’t want to get their families into trouble. But they are also terrified that they will be taken abroad and married off against their will. So the police find themselves stuck in an impossible position – where their job is to protect the victim but also send a message out to the wider communities that to threaten to kill your daughter is a criminal offence, punishable with a 7 year prison sentence.

In the last year GMP dealt with 250 cases of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence.

Meet Rukhsana, a 26 year old women fleeing from her father after he attacked her for seeing the wrong boyfriend. Rukhsana seeks police protection.

Meet Sajida forced to marry 16 years ago and who is now paying the consequences with her 4 daughters in Manchester.

Meet the cops who deal with these crimes every day – DI Tanya Kitchen and her team have the unenviable task of painstakingly trying to find any evidence that will show that the victim is telling the truth. They follow the biggest case of Forced Marriage that GMP has ever seen – with a family of 15 children at risk.

This powerful film is relentless in showing that “forced marriage is for life and it takes away your life” -  Jasvinder Sanghera Chief Exec of Honour Based Violence Charity Karma Nirvana.

Karma Nirvana's Helpline is open 09:30 - 17:00,Monday - Friday.

The Helpline number is: 0800 5999 247

Please call 999 in an emergency.

What to do if you need help or if you are worried about someone:

1. You are not alone.

2. Forced Marriage is a criminal offence - you have a right to say no.

3. If you are worried that you will be taken abroad for a marriage, this can be prevented.

4. Forced Marriage Protection Orders are granted by Civil Courts. You can do this through a solicitor.

Karma Nirvana's policy is that:

- you can speak in total confidence to the Helpline staff.

- they will not contact any members of your family

- they offer non-judgmental practical and emotional support

- they also offer advice to any professionals who have concerns about a potential victim

If you are concerned about someone you can also call the Helpline in confidence.

If you are abroad, Karma Nirvana can help with your return to the UK.

If you are being forced to sponsor someone from abroad, Karma Nirvana can also help to stop this.

Director Anna Hall on ITV, Read full story here

DCS Vanessa Jardine on GMB

A Victim Speaks Out

Listen to the Victim on Bauer Radio Here

DS Nita Jhanji-Garrod from GMP on BBC Asian network at 2.39pm, Click here to listen

Director Anna Hall on BBC3 Counties Radio, Click here to listen

Click on the features below to read them

Director Anna Hall started her directorial career with her debut film Edge of the City for C4 in 2004. Since then she has journeyed across the Pennines on numerous occasions investigating and uncovering stories that are difficult to tell and often show the darker side of life. Following on from the multi award-winning The Hunt For Britain’s Sex Gangs (2013)  she has spent the last 18 months with Greater Manchester Police painstakingly gathering enough evidence to show that young people are being threatened to be killed by their relatives on a daily basis.


Background information:

What is a Forced Marriage Protection Order?

Forced Marriage Protection Orders came into force in this country in 2008. Anyone - including a victim, friend or local authority - can ask the Family Court to implement a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO).This can stop a person being married against their will and prevent them from being taken abroad.

The FMPOs can also demand that perpetrators stop any intimidation, reveal the victim's location and hand over passports otherwise they could face imprisonment.

It is now a criminal offence to breach a FMPO – with a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into force on 16th June 2014. It is now illegal to force someone into marriage in the UK.

This includes:

  • Taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)
  • Marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not
  • The civil remedy of obtaining a Forced Marriage Protection Order through the family courts will continue to exist alongside the new criminal offence, so victims can choose how they wish to be assisted.

Forcing someone to marry carries a prison sentence of up to 7 years.

Useful Organisations:

Karma Nirvana

At Karma Nirvana, we have one clear aim: to stop the scandal of forced marriage and honour-based violence. No apologies. No excuses. No backing down.

Call 0800 5999247

The Forced Marriage unit

The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is a joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office unit was which set up in January 2005 to lead on the Government’s forced marriage policy, outreach and casework.

The FMU operates a public helpline to provide advice and support to victims of forced marriage as well as to professionals dealing with cases.

Call 020 7008 0151

Ashiana Project London

020 8539 0427

Cast Watch UK

Voluntary organisation committed to the elimination of caste discrimination providing support and other services to people who are the subject of caste discrimination in order to relieve their needs.

Domestic Violence Helpline Greater Manchester
0161 636 7525

Dwell project

Equality Advisory & Support (EASS)
0808 800 0082

Advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights across England, Scotland and Wales

Freedom Charity
0845 607 0133

Freedom charity was established to raise awareness of the issues of children and young people who are at risk or are subjected to violent crimes, dishonour-based violence and forced marriages throughout the UK by engaging children and young people and offering advice, information and guidance.

Hemat Gryffe Women's Aid Glasgow
0141 353 0859

Henna Foundation

Honour Network Survivors Helpline
0800 5999 247

National helpline for forced marriages and honour based killings, staffed mainly by survivors of forced marriages. Run by Karma Nirvana.

Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation (IKWRO)

Online help site for mixed couples (mixed race, religion, caste), whose relationships are opposed by family or community.

National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline
0808 2000 247

Newham Asian women's Project

020 8472 0528 East London


0808 2000 247


0161 945 4187

Saheli Asian Women’s Project provides advice, information and support services to Asian women and their children fleeing domestic abuse and/or forced marriages and is based in Manchester, UK.

Southall Black Sisters


UK Border Agency

White Ribbon Campaign

Women’s Aid