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This Government are committed to ending the abusive practice of forced marriage and ensuring that victims are protected, as this is indefensible and never acceptable. The Government provide practical support to victims through the forced marriage unit, and we have today published a consultation on whether forced marriage should be made a criminal offence.
I thank the Minister for that answer and warmly welcome today’s announcement of a public consultation on this shameful practice. Does she agree that it is vital that the Government work closely with the relevant communities to ensure that women are no longer discouraged from reporting forced marriages?
My hon. Friend makes a very important point, and working with the communities is the only way deal with this issue. We want people to come forward and we do not want families to be deterred, so it is only by working with communities that we are likely to achieve our aims.