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Forced Marriage in Scotland: Our Responses and Responsibilities.

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Presentation on theme: "Forced Marriage in Scotland: Our Responses and Responsibilities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forced Marriage in Scotland: Our Responses and Responsibilities

2 Course Learning Outcomes By the end of the course, delegates will be able to: Understand the gendered cultural context of forced marriage and its links to Honour-based violence and domestic abuse. Explain the difference between arranged and forced marriage. Understand how the Forced Marriage etc. (Protection and Jurisdiction)(Scotland) Act 2011, and other legislation, can be used to protect children/adults at risk of forced marriage. List at least 3 indicators of a child/adult at risk of forced marriage. State appropriate responses to identified risk and disclosure of forced marriage. Identify a range of support available and where to seek advice if working with someone affected by forced marriage.

3 Course Ground Rules Keep safe Respect the views of others Confidentiality (and its limitations) Timekeeping

4 Session 2 Setting the Context: Gender, Honour & Violence in Black & Minority Ethnic Communities

5 What is Gender? “…the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.” World Health Organisation

6 Gender-Based Violence? “Any form of violence used to establish, enforce or perpetuate gender inequalities and keep in place gendered orders. In other words gender-based violence is a policing mechanism.” James Lang 2002

7 What is Honour? An ancient yet “fluid” concept. An effective patriarchal tool: applying to men and women, but applied differently, with penalties with breach of ‘honour’ (‘shame’) varying. Links the behaviour of women to the welfare of the community. Used to control sexuality. A family’s relationship to honour is defined by the (male) head of that family. Concept changes slower in migrant communities and is hard to challenge.

8 Hurdles in the Name of “Honour” Victims do not realise what they are subject to is unethical or unlawful. Fleeing from abuse is seen as an irresponsible act which jeopardises the “Izzat” or “family/community Honour”. Women carry with them the guilt of betraying the family honour, culture and tradition. Fear of isolation and ostracised from community. Women must obey their men including their own sons and believe in religious leader, trust their judgement Victims of honour-based violence see themselves as perpetrators of wrong doing against their families.

9 Gender Education AgeSexuality Disability Tradition Migration Community Wealth Culture Faith Caste ‘Honour’ ‘Shame’ P ATRIARCHY VICTIM FAMILY DUTY

10 Gender-Based Violence: Types Domestic abuse Sexual assault Rape Childhood sexual abuse Stalking Harassment Harmful Traditional Practices: –Female genital mutilation –(FGM) –Forced marriage –Dowry related abuse –‘Honour’ killings –Female infanticide Commercial Sexual Exploitation: –prostitution –pornography –internet brides –trafficking –sexual slavery

11 Key Practice Messages: Gender & Culture Avoid the twin pitfalls of ‘cultural essentialism’ and ‘cultural relativism’. Be brave: race anxiety can lead to a silencing on the issues. A belief in ‘cultural privacy’ can lead to collusion. Be alert to a continuum of gender-based violence.

12 Marriage: Arranged Vs Forced Identifying the nature and context of Arranged and Forced Marriages Session 3

13 What is an Arranged Marriage? Arranged marriage is an ancient, alive and evolving tradition in many societies. Family, friends and community play a role in bringing two suitable partners together. The prospective bride and groom will determine when they are ready for marriage and reject and accept presented proposals. The prospective bride and groom will have free choice and be the final decision makers in the marriage.

14 How are Marriages Arranged? The arrangement is restricted to finding suitable partners and arrangers will usually look for appropriate partner based on economic status, social class, profession. Matches are usually sought with individuals of a shared experience of culture, faith or values. Parents and elders in the family play a lead role in introducing matches to the prospective bride and groom. Matches are found through the family, friends, community, professional matchmakers, the internet or matrimonial advertisements in newspapers and specialist publications.

15 How are Marriages Arranged? The prospective bride and groom can be actively involved in the short listing of appropriate matches. An introduction or meeting with a prospective match can be made through a formal meeting of families, over the phone, through the internet, or a date. The prospective bride and groom can meet as many prospective partners as they wish.

16 Who Decides on the Marriage? The bride and the groom decide for themselves. Parents and family can only suggest and give opinions. Their ideas and suggestions can be rejected. The final choice is of the parties getting married. Either party can change their mind at any time from introduction to marriage and withdraw consent. There should be no negative repercussion on the bride or groom for changing their mind.

17 Key Practice Messages: Arranged Marriages Free choice and independent opinion of the prospective bride and groom is crucial to a successful arranged marriage. Arranged marriages are usually heterosexual. Those involved have a cultural mindset to accept arranged marriages. The sole expectation of the process is marriage. There must be NO SEX before marriage.

18 What is Forced Marriage? ‘A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of children and some adults at risk, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.’ Scottish Government

19 Why Do Forced Marriages Happen Upholding perceived cultural or religious ideals Controlling unwanted behaviour such as alcohol and drug abuse Controlling sexuality particularly those who identify as LGBT Preventing unsuitable relationships before marriage. Protecting children (including adult children) especially if they have additional needs or disabilities Strengthening family links and keeping wealth in the family.

20 Why Do Forced Marriages Happen? Assisting claims for residence and citizenship Spouse as a carer Fulfilling longstanding family commitments Peer group or family pressure

21 Additional Risk-Increasing Factors for Forced Marriage Bereavement in the family Being the older unmarried sibling Becoming a single parent Younger child taking the place of an older sibling to fulfil a marriage contract Disclosure of sexual abuse/rape

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23 Key Practice Messages: Forced Marriages Culture, faith and tradition are not the cause of forced marriages. They are the excuse. While forced marriages are arranged not all arranged marriages are forced. Warning Signs of Forced marriage can be subtle and invisible. Organisations and staff need to ask questions and investigate despite fears of racism, cultural ignorance.

24 Forced Marriage: Protection Through the Law Session 4

25 Forced Marriage etc (Protection and Jurisdiction)(Scotland) Act 2011: Main Provisions of the Act To introduce Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPO) to protect people from being forced to marry, or who have already been so forced, without their free and full consent. To make it a criminal offence to breach a FMPO. To enable Scottish Ministers to apply the provisions of part one of the Act to civil partnerships. To require statutory agencies to respond appropriately. To clarify the authority of the sheriff court for annulling such marriages.

26 What is a Forced Marriage and what is a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO)? Prevents a “Protected Person” from being forced into a marriage” How is “force” defined under the Act- section 1(6) Relationship between force and consent - section 1(4)

27 Who Can Apply for a FMPO? The protected person A defined Relevant Third Party Any other third party, but only with leave of the court Court itself can also make an order on its own initiative in civil proceedings not involving an FMPO application or, in similar criminal proceedings, refer the matter to the Lord Advocate

28 The scope/character of FMPOs Protected person’s safety &views Who can the FMPO be made against? Geographical extent How long does it last? What if the situation is urgent?

29 How Can the FMPO Protect? Demand a protected person is taken to a specific place of safety, brought before the court and/or their whereabouts disclosed Prevent a protected person being taken to any place in or outside Scotland Impose restrictions on the conduct and behaviour of a person or persons Order the surrender of documents to the court Stop the protected person from going through the marriage ceremony Facilitate or enable a person to return to Scotland within a specified period

30 Breach of FMPO Breach is a criminal offence Any person who, knowingly and without reasonable excuse, breaches a forced marriage protection order commits an offence. Police can arrest without a court warrant Penalties if convicted under summary or solemn procedure

31 How Does the Act Help Those Already in a Forced Marriage? Declarator of Nullity Can now be applied for in the Sheriff Court Difference between Nullity and Divorce

32 Interaction with Civil and Criminal Law Getting a FMPO doesn’t affect a protected person from obtaining any other civil or criminal protection or assistance New provisions under the Children’s Hearing (Scotland) Act 2011 re forced marriage Links with Child Protection Links With Adult Protection

33 Offences under Criminal Law Numerous Common Law and Statutory offences Specific offences relating to children Sexual offences relating to adults and children Immigration law offences All Ports Warnings

34 Refocus Session 5

35 Key Practice Messages Forced marriage can take place anywhere and can happen to anyone. There is no typical victim of a forced marriage. Victims are not always aware that they are going to be forced into marriage. One must recognise the role of extended family and others connected to the family in supporting a forced marriage There is often only one chance to respond

36 Improving Our Practice Session 6

37 Case Scenarios

38 One Chance Rule You may only have one chance to speak to a potential victim of forced marriage and, therefore, only one chance to save a life.

39 One Chance Checklist: Do’s See the victim on her own - even if she is accompanied by others See her immediately in a secure and private place where you will not be overheard Reassure her about confidentiality (in line with your organisation's policy) and explain that you will not give information to her family/friends or community Accept what she says Explain all the options to her and their possible outcomes Recognise and respect her wishes Assess the risk she faces by conducting an appropriate and thorough risk assessment

40 Contact, as soon as possible, the lead worker responsible for forced marriage Agree a way to contact her safely (for example agree a code word) Obtain full details to pass on to the lead worker and record these safely Give her (or help her memorise) your contact details and/or those of an appropriate support agency such as Women's Aid One Chance Checklist: Do’s

41 Consider the need for immediate police involvement, protection and placement away from the family and arrange this if necessary; this includes any action to stop her from being removed from the UK Do everything you can to keep her safe Get immediate advice if you are not sure what to do One Chance Checklist: Do’s

42 Send her away or let her leave without a safety plan and follow up arrangements Approach her friends/family or community unless she asks you to do so Attempt to mediate with the family Approach community leaders for advice Share information with anyone without her express consent (unless there is a risk of immediate harm to her or any children or she lacks capacity to give consent or she is unable to give informed consent) One Chance Checklist: Do Not

43 Service-Generated Risks Existing risk assessment procedures are not robust enough to assess the role of honour and extended family and community in forced marriage. Inappropriate use of interpreters, lay advisers and community leaders. Inappropriate partnership working Lack of safe spaces to go Short term interventions which do not meet the long term needs of victims. No Recourse to Public Funds

44 Key Practice Messages: Responding to Forced Marriage Victim’s safety and confidentiality is paramount. Victim’s choice is also central to providing support. Victims of Forced Marriage require long term support. All interventions should be risk assessed for their immediate and long term consequences on victims safety and future life chances.

45 Practice Guidance: Supporting Victims of Forced Marriage Effectively Session 7

46 Ensure Safety Who do you know ? Who knows you? Who knows about your situation? What is their view on your situation ? How will they react if you take help from outside? Has this happened in your family, friend, community before? How did your family, friends, community react? A good risk assessment and safety plan should explore the following key questions:

47 Break Down the Language Barrier Use Interpreters or translated material when necessary. Never use family members and friends as interpreters Remember interpreters are not support workers Ensure that Interpreters maintain confidentiality Consider using a phone-based interpreter in sensitive situations. Debrief interpreters: they can often provide vital information missed in meetings

48 Keep Confidentiality Do not share information with family or friends or community members. Keep information locked down and restricted. Be Aware of well meaning individuals supporting victims and their intentions Keep victims informed of everyone you are speaking to.

49 Statutory Guidelines The guidance lists organisations responsible for implementing the guidelines and defines their roles and responsibilities under them. It also states that any other person, body or office exercising public functions in or as regards Scotland which may relate to or have an effect in relation to forced marriage should have regard to the guidance in the exercise of their functions, as appropriate.

50 The Guidelines Require Organisations to Ensure… They have a Lead Person responsible for leading on the issue of forced marriage; They have Internal and External Policies & Procedures to protect those potentially at risk of forced marriage; All staff have an understanding and awareness of the nature and impact of forced marriage & have access to multi-agency guidelines; All staff know who is responsible for, but have an awareness of, dealing with cases of forced marriage.

51 Multi-Agency Guidelines Multi-agency guidelines complement statutory guidelines. All Frontline staff and volunteers should be aware of the guidelines and how to use them. The lead professional is responsible for ensuring that organisation staff is aware of the guidelines.

52 Specialist Support: Shakti & Hemat Gryffe… Experienced in dealing with forced marriage within a Scottish context Offer holistic support responding to long & short term needs of victims in a culturally sensitive manner. Understand family / community structures and the risks they may present. Have well-established connections with other professionals and agencies vital to supporting victims of forced marriage. Can link to other specialist organisations listed in the multi- agency guidelines Are aware of potential service-generated risks and work together with professionals Can provide support to professionals to assist in developing their own understanding of the situation.

53 Forced Marriage Unit If victim is abroad or is at risk of being taken abroad, contact the Forced Marriage Unit. The Forced Marriage Unit will usually assist in contacting and if necessary repatriating British victims of forced marriage. Still advisable to seek advice for victims who are not British or have dual nationality. Available 24 hours.

54 Key Questions? How aware is your organisation, its staff and volunteers of the forced marriage? Is more training required? Do you need to change any policies, guidelines or procedures? Does your organisation have an environment that allows victims to disclose? What service generated risks might there exist within your organisation? What additional resources do you need?

55 Key Practice Messages Organisational and staff preparedness is vital to ensuring that even that “One” rare case is dealt with appropriately and safely. A multi-agency approach is best suited to supporting victims of forced marriage. Agencies involved should have a shared understanding of the issue and the type of support victims need.


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