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A woman who was faced with the prospect of a forced marriage has described her terror at not being able to chose her partner to Good Morning Britain.
The woman, who asked to be kept anonymous, said she was forced to take money in an envelope from his family, who asked about her education and whether she could drive.
She explained: "Most of all, you are putting yourself in an unknown position which is always going to be full of fear and danger. In an arranged marriage you are given choice, while a forced marriage is nothing to do with your decisions."
The Home Secretary has described forced marriage as "cruel and unacceptable" and said new laws will which come into effect today show the practice "will not be tolerated" in the UK.
In an exclusive blog for Good Morning Britain, Theresa May said laws were needed because the "scale of the problem is staggering".
The NSPCC has described the criminalisation of forced marriage as "a huge step forward which we hope will deter those plotting against their own children".
Forcing someone into a marriage in England and Wales will carry a maximum seven-year jail sentence from today.
The Government hopes the law change, which also criminalises forcing a British national into marriage outside the UK, will protect thousands of potential victims.
Home Secretary Theresa May said she was "proud" of the UK's leading role in combating the crime.
"I am proud to say that the UK is already a world-leader in the fight to stamp out this harmful practice with the Government's Forced Marriage Unit working hard to tackle this terrible practice in the UK and overseas," she said.