Forced Marriage Unit Statistics 2018

In 2018, the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage in 1,764cases. These figures include contact that has been made to the FMU in relation to a new case through the public helpline or by email and include general enquires.

Since 2012, the FMU has provided support to between approximately1,200 and approximately 1,400 cases per year. The number of cases in 2018represents a 47% increase compared with 2017and is the highest number since these statistics were first in the current format in 2011.Thisdoes not necessarily represent an increase in the prevalence of forced marriage in the UK.

There are other potential reason s for the increase in cases:

  • A greater awareness of forced marriage being a crime and the support available, caused by:
    • Two court cases which received significant amounts of media attention and resulted in prosecutions
    • Wider media attention possibly raising awareness of forced marriage
    • Launch of the Home Office communication campaign about forced marriage.
  • An improved data recording process.

Of the cases that FMU provided support to:

  • 574 cases (33%) involved victims below 18 years of age; and a further:
  • 542 cases (31%) involved victims aged 18-25.
  • 165 cases (9%) involved victims aged 26-30.
  • 146 cases (8%) involved victims aged 31-40.
  • 45 cases (3%) involved victims aged 41and over.
  • In 17% of cases the age of the victims was unknown.

In 2018, the majority of cases -1,322 (75%) -involved women, with297cases (17%) involving men (gender in the remaining cases was unknown). These proportions are in line with previous years.

Forced marriage is not a problem specific to one country or culture. Since 2011, the FMU has handled cases relating to over 110countriesacross Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.

In 2018, the FMU handled cases relating to 74‘focus1’ countries. The six countries with the highest number of cases in 2018were:

  • Pakistan-769cases(44%).
  • Bangladesh-157cases(9%).
  • India-110 cases(6%).
  • Somalia2-46 cases (3%).
  • Afghanistan -44 cases (3%).
  • Romania -43 cases (2%).

The proportion of cases relating to Pakistan has increased by around 7% compared with the previous year. However, the proportion of cases relating to Pakistan in 2018 is stable compared to 2011-2016. After a large increase in 2017, the number of cases linked to Somalia has decreased. There has been a noticeable increase in cases linked to Romania. In 2018, the FMU provided support to43 such cases compared with29 across the whole period2011-2017.

In 2018, 119 cases (7%) had no overseas element, with the potential or actual forced marriage taking place entirely within the UK. This is a decrease compared with previous years, but continues to highlight that forced marriages can take place in the UK.

Download the full report from https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/804044/Forced_Marriage_Unit_Statistics_2018_FINAL.pdf


Forced Marriage Unit

The FMU operates a public helpline to provide advice and support to victims of forced marriage as well as to professionals dealing with cases. The assistance provided ranges from safety advice, through to helping a forced marriage victim prevent their unwanted spouse moving to the UK (‘reluctant sponsor’ cases). In extreme circumstances the FMU will assist with rescues of victims held against their will overseas.

More at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/forced-marriage#how-the-forced-marriage-unit-can-help

Download https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/727408/forced-marriage-survivors-handbook.pdf

June 2, 2019

The Domestic Abuse Bill must ensure every survivor of domestic abuse has access to a safe home – APPG for Ending Homelessness

The Government published its draft Domestic Abuse Bill which puts in place for the first time a statutory definition of domestic abuse, which includes economic abuse.

We strongly welcome the drive behind the Domestic Abuse Bill – to make domestic abuse everyone’s business – and the recognition of the important role of a wide range of agencies in identifying and acting to stop and prevent domestic abuse.

However, given the central role of secure housing in supporting domestic abuse survivors, and preventing them falling victim to domestic abuse in the future, the lack of specific recommendations aimed at tackling homelessness among survivors in the Bill is concerning.

For people fleeing domestic abuse, access to safe, secure accommodation is vital. Without this, there is a risk that survivors will be left with no option but to return to a dangerous situation or sleep rough putting themselves at risk of further abuse and exploitation.

Although 12% (6,850) of households in England cited domestic abuse as the cause of their homelessness, only 2% (1,330) were accepted as in priority need because they were vulnerable due to domestic abuse.

We are calling on the Government to ensure that the Bill makes provision to ensure that all survivors of domestic abuse have access to a safe home.

This would be achieved by ensuring that everyone fleeing domestic abuse who is homeless is automatically considered in priority need for settled housing, rather than being subject to the vulnerability test to determine whether they qualify.

In our 2017 inquiry on prevention, the APPG heard how providing evidence to prove vulnerability can be traumatic and near impossible for people who have experienced domestic violence. There is overwhelming evidence of local authorities consistently failing to provide people fleeing from domestic abuse with the help they need, and of the ‘vulnerability test’ being used as a gatekeeping tool. Recent research by Women’s Aid found that 53% of survivors supported through the No Woman Turned Away project, which provides additional support to women struggling to access refuge places, were prevented from making a valid homelessness application by their local authority. Nearly one quarter (23.1%) of these women were prevented from making a homelessness application because they were told they would not be in priority need.

We argue all persons who experience domestic violence are, by definition, vulnerable and therefore they should be placed in the automatic priority need category.

Survivors of domestic abuse in Wales and Scotland are already considered a priority for housing. Changing the English legislation could change the culture around how survivors are treated by Housing Options teams and speed up their recovery.

The Domestic Abuse Bill provides a vital opportunity to extend priority need to all survivors of domestic abuse. As the Bill progresses through parliament, we will be campaigning hard to amend it to provide for this change and ensure this opportunity is not lost.

Full Press Release at https://www.crisis.org.uk/ending-homelessness/appg-for-ending-homelessness/appg-for-ending-homelessness-statement-on-draft-domestic-abuse-bill/

June 2, 2019

28 June 2019 14:00 ~ Capturing the Power of Victims of Sexual Crimes – SKiM Talks – London

SKiM TALKS: Capturing the Power of Victims of Sexual Crimes  

  • When: Friday 28th June 2019    
  • Location: City Hall, London from 2-5pm

Capturing the Power of Victims of Sexual Violence

Join Jay Kamara- Frederick and special guests for the next SKiM Talks 

  • Panel discussion
  • Poetry
  • Face of Defiance and The Invisible Child Exhibitions
  • Tear the Veil book reading and signing
  • Discuss and debate themed issues on the important challenges of sexual violation/abuse and harassment against girls and women in the UK.

Guest speakers 

  • Impact Contributors
  • Claire Waxman, Victims Commissioner, London
  • Sophie Linden, Deputy Major, London
  • Jacqueline Onalo FRSA, Human Rights Lawyer

Moderator: Susan Bookbinder

Through this forum we will:

  • Put forward suggestions on how we can influence change at various levels.
  • Change the narrative around sexual violence so that it is recognised and punished as a crime
  • Educate and inform
  • Raise awareness and reduce stigma
  • Inspire survivors to take the next steps towards healing and speak out louder
  • Influence changes in the law and policy to make it easier for victims to report and get justice

About SKiM Talks

SKIM Talks are dialogues for change and our aim is to create is a forum for survivors of sexual violence. We discuss topical issues and lobby for change through these interactions which encourage survivors to speak out louder discuss and challenge the status quo. If we want to remove stigma, improve service provisions, challenge current orthodoxy, it is important to do so with a co-ordinated and strong voice.  From time to time, we will engage with and co-opt the support of experts from various fields including, government, educators, charities, therapist’s life coaches, legal and law enforcement allies.

This event is organised by Jay. K Frederick,

Free – registration is required at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/skim-talks-recharging-the-power-of-victims-of-sexual-crimes-tickets-61229157057

Social change platform & blog: www.iamskim.com   Twitter: @iamskim_

May 31, 2019

Nearly 7 in 10 LGBT people say they have been sexually harassed at work – TUC Report

  • TUC publishes first GB major report into LGBT sexual harassment at work
  • 1 in 5 LGBT women who have worked in the last 5 years report that they have been sexually assaulted at work
  • TUC calls for a new duty on employers to properly protect their staff from sexual harassment at work

Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people report being sexually harassed at work, according to new research published by the TUC on International Day Against Homophobia.

The report – the first major study into LGBT sexual harassment at work in Great Britain – found that:

  • More than 2 in 5 (42%) LGBT people who responded to the survey said colleagues made unwelcome comments or asked unwelcome questions about their sex life.
  • More than a quarter (27%) reported receiving unwelcome verbal sexual advances.
  • Two-thirds (66%) said they did not tell their employer about the harassment, and quarter of those said they didn’t report because they were afraid of being ‘outed’ at work.

LGBT women

According the survey, LGBT women were more likely to experience unwanted touching and sexual assault at work.

  • Over a third of women (35%) reported they had experienced unwanted touching, for example placing hands on their lower back or knee
  • Over one fifth (21%) reported experiencing sexual assault, for example unwanted touching of the breasts, buttocks or genitals, or attempts to kiss them
  • One in eight (12%) LGBT women said they had been seriously sexually assaulted or raped at work.

LGBT BME and disabled people

BME women and disabled men and women reported even higher rates of harassment and sexual assault.

  • More than half (54%) of LGBT BME women said they have experienced unwanted touching at work, 45% reported sexual assault and more than a quarter (27%) reported serious sexual assault or rape.
  • Half (50%) of LGBT disabled women reported unwanted touching, nearly 4 in 10 (38%) reported sexual assault and almost a quarter (24%) reported serious sexual assault or rape. Disabled men’s reported levels of sexual harassment and assault were significantly higher than non-disabled men, with more than 1 in 4 (28%) of disabled men reporting sexual assault.

Impact

LGBT people told the TUC these experiences had a big impact on their lives. Around 1 in 6 (16%) said the sexual harassment at work affected their mental health. A similar proportion (16%) told the TUC that they had left their job as a result of being sexually harassed – and for 1 in 25 described the experience as so unbearable that it caused them to leave their job without another job to go to.

Part of a longer press release at https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/nearly-7-10-lgbt-people-say-they-have-been-sexually-harassed-work-says-tuc

 

May 31, 2019

Interested in Volunteering at Northumberland Pride 2019?

Fancy becoming part of the amazing Volunteer team and being hands-on at the second Northumberland Pride taking place in Alnwick on 1st June 2019? We need people who are willing to give their time and energy (for all or part of the day), just for the love of Pride – although we can reimburse some types of reasonable expenses. It’s going to be great fun!

May 27, 2019