Social workers failing women facing forced marriage, says report

Almost half of the 86 females who were granted civil safeguards in cases of forced marriage over the past year were children aged under 18, the British Ministry of Justice review found. The number saved in the first year of the scheme was double what government officials had expected to help since the forced marriage protection orders were introduced. It found that the government’s forced marriage unit dealt with more than 1,600 reports of possible forced marriages. The review expressed concern that the problem was still being under reported with the message still not getting through to women in closed communities. It found that some authorities and schools were reluctant to publicise the new orders because of “the presence of a PC agenda whereby there was reluctance to risk causing offence”. “There was concern locally about stigmatising the minority communities, and people were afraid to use the court, despite active police involvement,” it found.