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

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  • 1 University of Roehampton, UK
  • | 2 Crown Prosecution Service, UK
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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.

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  • 1 University of Roehampton, UK
  • | 2 Crown Prosecution Service, UK

Corresponding author: Professor Aisha K Gill, Professor of Criminology, Department of Social Sciences, University of Roehampton, 80 Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5SL.

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