How will changes to the law help victims of forced marriage?

New rules aimed at protecting victims of abuse have come into force in the UK.

Changes to legislation, which came into effect from June 16 2014, mean that committing forced marriage is a criminal offence, with perpetrators facing up to seven years imprisonment.

The new order is expected to protect those who are unlawfully forced into marriage across Lancashire.

Whilst family law already protects victims from forced marriage, under the old rules the court could be requested to make a Forced Marriage Protection Order to prevent a person being taken abroad to be married and prevent a marriage going ahead.

However under criminal law, those persons who the orders were against were not subject to a specific offence.

Under the new legislation it is a criminal offence to breach a Forced Marriage Protection Order or to use violence, threats or other forms of coercion for the purpose of causing another person to enter into a forced marriage.

The new offence has been created under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014. Criminals who are found guilty of committing forced marriage will face up to seven years imprisonment, and up to five years imprisonment for breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order.

The Domestic Abuse Unit at WHN Solicitors have experience in dealing with all matters of domestic abuse, including Forced Marriage Protection Orders and Non-Molestation injunctions. If you know of anybody who may be affected by this issue then please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced solicitors.

For more information on this, or any other domestic abuse matter, contact Kate Allsop on 0161 761 4611 or at