More vulnerable male adults are victims of forced marriage than previously thought

   
   
 Forced Marriage
09 Mar 2018 10:20:11.623

38/18

A higher number of men with learning disabilities are victims of forced marriage than previously thought, suggesting that better education and training is needed to recognise those at risk.

This was just one of the findings of  the new study – ‘My Marriage, My Choice’ which shows that there appears to have been a reversal in trends related to gender, with more cases of men with learning disabilities now being reported than those of women.

The two-year study, which looked at forced marriage among adults with learning disabilities, aims to improve understanding of the issue, as well as helping to develop policy and practice to support professionals in their work of safeguarding vulnerable children and adults.

The study is the first of its kind which has collated the views of all stakeholder groups involved and that has subsequently produced training materials to improve policy and practice as a result. This has included the production of the first ever film on the topic and practice guidance on assessing capacity to consent.

Click here for full story
Year-on-year rise in reported cases

 

The research is led by Rachael Clawson at the University of Nottingham’s School of Sociology and Social Policy in collaboration with a team from the University of Kent, the charity RESPOND and the Ann Craft Trust.

As part of their work, the research team worked in partnership with the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) to study statistics collected between 2009 and 2015 to better understand forced marriage in the population of people with learning disabilities.

The areas of the UK identified by the FMU as having the highest incidence of reported cases were; London & the South East; the West Midlands; the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside. Interviews and focus groups were carried out with four key stakeholder groups in each of these areas.

According to the FMU, there has been a year-on-year rise in the number of people with learning disabilities being reported who may be at risk or have been the subject of forced marriage. A law introduced in 2014 makes this kind of marriage illegal and so not only are people with learning disabilities at risk of being married when they know little about marriage and what it involves, but families and other people around them are at risk of getting into trouble with the law if they encourage loved ones to enter into such marriages.

Lack of education around the law

The findings from the study found that there is a blurred line for many families about what was considered an arranged or forced marriage. When carers were questioned, some were aware of the law but many were not.

Rachael Clawson, the lead researcher on the study, said: “The laws on forced marriage and the importance of establishing capacity to consent needs better publicity and family carers need more opportunities to learn about the laws. There is clearly a lack of knowledge across all stakeholder groups about the subject which needs addressing.”

The results of the study also show that for many families of vulnerable adults, their motivations for considering marriage for their son or daughter were impacted by concerns about their future care.

 “A lot of families are worried about who will care for their loved one once they are no longer able, and this really affects their decisions about marriage. Families need to understand that whilst they think they may be doing the best for their child, they cannot make decisions on their behalf, and that there is support out there for them.”

As a result of the study the team has produced a film aimed at people with learning disabilities and their families which raises awareness of the issue, a case study document to highlight findings from the research and a practice guidance toolkit for assessing capacity to consent to marriage.

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email mediahub@nottingham.ac.uk or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

 

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Anne Patterson, in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham  anne.patterson@nottingham.ac.uk
CharlotteAnscombe

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email: charlotte.anscombe@nottingham.ac.uk  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

My Marriage My Choice

Published Date
Friday 16th December 2016

Safeguarding children and adults with learning disabilities

Published Date
Thursday 26th November 2009

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Room C4)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798
email: communications@nottingham.ac.uk

Page setup