The role of family coercion, culture, expert witnesses and best practice in securing forced marriage convictions

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Forced marriage (FM) affects many communities in the UK and has far-reaching consequences for individuals and society. In light of the UK’s new FM legislation, introduced in 2007 and 2014, this paper analyses the UK’s first successful FM prosecution, concerning a mother who forced her daughter into marriage overseas. This case study highlights the importance of understanding the role that culture (including family values and norms) plays in FM, both in terms of achieving successful prosecutions and providing effective assistance to victims. This understanding is best developed by including intermediaries in police investigations and expert witnesses in the courtroom. The paper also explores how expert witnesses and intermediaries help realise the new legislation’s potential to empower victims.

© 2019,  Centre for Gender and Violence Research. The attached document (embargoed until 21/11/2020) is an author produced version of a paper published in JOURNAL OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Gender Based Violence
Volume 4
Issue number1
Early online date21 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • expert witnesses
  • forced marriage
  • coercion
  • consent
  • policing
  • best practice

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