Recognition of and Intervention in Forced Marriage as a Form of Violence and Abuse

Chantler, Khatidja orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9129-2560 (2012) Recognition of and Intervention in Forced Marriage as a Form of Violence and Abuse. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 13 (3). pp. 176-183. ISSN 1524-8380

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This paper highlights the importance of recognising forced marriage as a form of violence and draws attention to the interventions that are developing in Europe as a response to forced marriage. The paper highlights the difficulties of conflating all child marriages as forced marriage and discusses the different contexts of childhood in different parts of the globe. The UK is reputed to have the widest range of policy interventions and practice guidance to tackle forced marriage and is therefore used as a case study in this paper, but reference is also made to other countries thus ensuring a wider relevance. The paper’s analysis of UK based research
studies on forced marriage identifies three key themes: i) lack of adequate reporting of incidents of forced marriage; ii) lack of professional knowledge of forced marriage and their fear of intervention; iii) the tension between conceptualizing forced marriage as purely cultural or as a form of gender based violence. It also highlights the largely legislative responses to forced
marriage in Europe; Civil Protection for victims of forced marriage in the UK is discussed and a critical analysis is offered of the increase in marriage and sponsorship age in the UK and in many European countries. Health and clinical issues related to forced marriage are highlighted and the paper calls for further research globally to i) better understand the extent and nature
of forced marriage; ii) to evaluate current interventions; iii) to investigate the clinical and potential mental health implications of forced marriage.

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