MARRIAGE UNIT LAUNCHES AD CAMPAIGN
(16 March 2006)
Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) today launched a national publicity campaign
on forced marriage. The campaign supported by actors Meera Syal
and Ameet Chana involves a series of radio and press adverts, TV
fillers and poster campaigns. It aims to increase awareness of the
issues surrounding forced marriage. It will highlight the difference
between forced and arranged marriage, and make clear that forced
marriage is an abuse of human rights and a form of domestic violence.
campaign will also publicise the support available to young people
affected by forced marriage and encourage them to seek help. It
will highlight the damaging emotional consequences to families and
the crimes involved in forcing someone into marriage.
Office Minister, Rt Hon Baroness Scotland QC, said: "Forced
marriage affects children, teenagers and adults from all races and
religions, including Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs.
And it is not solely an issue facing Asian communities. We deal
with cases in the Middle East, Western Balkans and Africa.
marriage is a form of domestic violence and a human rights abuse.
The victims often face emotional and physical abuse. We are determined
to help young people at risk and protect their right to choose whom
the campaign celebrated author and actress Meera Syal said: "This
is an extremely important campaign for all members of the community
- young and old. For young people, they need to know that there
is help out there and that it is okay to ask for help. And we want
the older generations to know that we respect their culture, tradition
and we understand that arranged marriages have a place in society.
But there is a vast difference between an arranged and a forced
Eastenders star Ameet Chana continued: "I, probably like most
people believed that only women were affected and forced into marriage,
but I was amazed to find that 15% of the cases that are currently
reported to the Unit are men...and I bet that the numbers are far
greater, but it's hard for men to come forward and admit they need
help and are being forced into a situation like this. This campaign
is key to reassuring them that they are not alone and help is available."
Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office launched the
joint Forced Marriage Unit on 26 January 2005. The unit leads on
policy, outreach work and projects to raise awareness and provide
support to survivors of forced marriage, as well as providing practical
support and information to people at risk of being forced into marriage.
The Forced Marriage Unit can be contacted by phone on 020 7008 0151
or via email at email@example.com