Forced Marriage of Young People with Learning Difficulties

Open to Everyone
Free to Attend

Dialogue Society, London

Deborah Kitson

Ann Craft Trust

Rachel Clawson

Development Manager, Safeguarding Disabled Children Services, Ann Craft Trust, University of Nottingham

It is known that a significant number of people with learning disabilities are being forced into marriage by their own families and communities. The Foreign Office’s Forced Marriage Unit, set up in 2005 to tackle the problem, dealt with 400 cases in 2007 and approximately 80 of these involved adults or young people of school age with learning disabilities. The consequences of such marriages can be devastating and can include a range of abuse. This presentation aims to open debate in relation to the reasons why forced marriages take place, who may be most at risk and what can be done to support the people forced into marriage. It also aims to consider how the social care and health professionals working with them and their families can better recognise the potential indicators of forced marriage and offer the support and services needed.