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Forced marriages outlawed in 'huge step forward'

A new law outlawing forced marriages comes into effect today in England and Wales. The offence will carry a maximum seven year jail sentence under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

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Law criminalising forced marriage comes into effect

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 has described forced marriage as "a tragedy for each and every victim". Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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.

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