On 10 June 2015, a 34-year-old man from Cardiff, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to forcing a 25-year-old woman to marry him in under duress.

This is the first prosecution under the law to criminalise forced marriage, which came into force last year following a long campaign by the Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO).

The perpetrator has also been convicted of four counts of rape, bigamy and voyeurism and has been sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.

The victim was forced into a religious marriage at a mosque under duress from the perpetrator, who threatened to kill her parents and to shame and dishonor her by exposing footage that he had secretly taken of her showering after he had raped her. The perpetrator was already married.

Diana Nammi, IKWRO’s Founder and Executive Director said;

“A clear message has been sent out to perpetrators of forced marriage that they will face justice. The law is already working as a deterrent and its’ impact has been strengthened by this prosecution.

This prosecution will give confidence to victims and survivors of forced marriage. It shows them that the law is on their side and that they are not alone. The police and organisations like IKWRO are here to support them.

However it is vital that every single person who is vulnerable to forced marriage and “honour” based violence learns about their rights and the help that is available. In particular this case highlights the worrying increase in revenge porn, which in the context of communities that uphold “honour” codes, is a dangerous form of “honour” based violence. Schools and colleges are key and the government must commit to educating every young person about their rights and where to get help.”

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