Wednesday 23rd of June 2021

Fears over forced marriages as travel restrictions ease 

  • A woman who was “pawned off like cattle” into a forced marriage by her dad said it was “absolutely horrific”. 
  • Sara (not her real name) was 19 when she went with her family to Pakistan for her older sister’s wedding but once there, learnt she was also to be married. 
  • One charity has warned there could be a spike in cases as international travel restrictions ease and the UK Border Force should be “on alert”. 
  • UK Border Force said it trains officers in protecting vulnerable people. 
  • Sara, from south Wales, said that years later she was still affected by what happened.
  • For the full story, select here

    Recruitment of under-18s to British military should end, ministers told 

    • Ministers have been urged to stop the practice of recruiting children to Britain’s military by a coalition of 20 human rights organisations as MPs debate the Armed Forces Bill. 
    • The pressure to end the practice also comes as figures showed that girls aged under 18 in the armed forces made at least 16 formal complaints of sexual assault to military police in the last six years – equivalent to one for every 75 girls in the service. 
    • Recruitment figures this month showed that one in every five new armed forces recruits were under 18. That accounts for one in four in the army, which recruits more soldiers at 16 than at any other age, particularly for infantry roles.
    • For the full story, select here

    Sex abuse victim’s shock at seeing attacker back in the community 

    • A survivor of sexual abuse has said she cannot heal with her attacker now living back in her community. 
    • Despite being told she would not see the man when he left prison because he was housebound due to his poor health, the woman was “devastated” when she bumped into him at a supermarket. 
    • The woman, 32, was sexually abused from the age of seven through to adulthood. Her abuser was jailed in 2017 for 25 counts of indecent and sexual assault. 
    • She was finally starting to heal when he was released into the community having served half of his six-year sentence and within a few months she bumped into him.
    • For the full story, select here

      ‘Huge concern’ as three-in-four domestic abuse cases fail to end in charges 

      • Three-in-four domestic abuse-related crimes are closed by police in England and Wales without the perpetrator being charged, the police watchdog has said, adding that victims were put at greater risk during the coronavirus pandemic. 
      • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) said the findings were of “huge concern” and that police must immediately review why so many domestic abuse cases are dropped. 
      • According to figures highlighted in the watchdog’s report, in the year to March 2020, on average 54.8% of cases were discontinued where a suspect has been identified but the victim no longer supported the prosecution. 
      • Some 20% of cases did not proceed even with the support of the victim because there were “evidential difficulties”, which can include a lack of evidence being gathered.
      • For the full story, select here.