First Forced Marriage Conference

7 May 2014, 08:07 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

The first ever conference on forced marriage has been taking place in the East Midlands.

Victims of forced marriages have been telling police and the NHS in Derby, what needs to be done to tackle the issue.

Officials have been listening to their stories at a conference in Derby.

'Insidious crime'

Derbyshire's Chief Constable Mick Creedon:

'To hear them (victims) and to understand them I think, is a wake up call.

'We live in a lovely world where people actually want to hear nice things but sometimes hearing the dark things and disturbing things and hearing about victimisation, which is contrary to all our values and beliefs, is important.

'It takes part in all communities and it's something that's amongst the most insidious, horrendous crimes and will, at times, lead to murders.'

Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, survivor of forced marriage and founder and Chief Executive of Karma Nirvana said:

'I'm delighted to be co-hosting the first national conference on Forced Marriage, where we will be talking about its forthcoming criminalisation, with Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles.

'The change in the legislation which will make forced marriage a specific offence is the result of a 10 year campaign, which has now delivered necessary and very welcome change.

'We are pleased to have brought together so many national leaders with diverse perspectives, experiences and responsibilities. It is so important that statutory organisations such as the police, PCCs and the criminal justice service work in partnership with non-statutory support organisations to provide a sensitive and holistic service to victims.'

Only last week Karma Nirvana told that honour based violence and forced marriage is under reported in the East Midlands.