UK: Mother Convicted, Jailed for Forcing Daughter to Marry Her Rapist

This picture taken in Kabul on October 12, 2011 shows Afghan woman Nozari as she poses for a portrait at a shelter run by women for Afghan women. Nozari fled her home due to alleged domestic violence and discrimination. In the war-torn country, Afghan women often oppressed by poverty, family …

A woman who forced her teenage daughter to marry a male relative who had raped and impregnated her as a child has been jailed for four and a half years in the UK’s first successful prosecution of its kind.

The 45-year-old mother of four was sentenced Wednesday at Birmingham Crown Court after being found guilty of duping her 17-year-old daughter into travelling to Pakistan to force her into marrying her stepfather’s nephew in September 2016, reports the BBC.

The man raped and impregnated the victim four years prior when she was 13 – which her mother interpreted as a “marriage contract”. Neither the victim nor her mother can be named for legal reasons.

Jurors heard that the British teenager was duped into going on holiday to celebrate her 18th birthday and that almost immediately after blowing out her candles she was told that she would be marrying her rapist.

The young woman, who was described as having special educational needs, was said to have “wept” during her marriage ceremony.

Following the girl’s pregnancy at 13, the court heard her mother arranged an abortion. Traumatised by the rape and termination, the victim turned to alcohol and drugs. She was taken into emergency care and became vulnerable to Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), was raped again, and had a second abortion.

Her mother was found guilty on two counts of forced marriage and one charge of perjury on Tuesday.

This is the second successful prosecution for forced marriage since it became an offence in June 2014.

The first came in June 2015 when a 34-year-old man was convicted for blackmailing a devout Muslim woman into becoming his second wife – however, this recent case is the first time the law was applied to a parent forcing their child.

This is despite the government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) identifying more than 8,000 cases since 2010 and logging nearly 1,200 forced marriages in 2017 alone, with the organisation saying that number “may not reflect the full scale of the abuse”.

Cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), also commonly associated with some Islamic cultures, have resulted in not one single conviction in the UK.

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