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UK Judge Annuls Forced Marriage Of Disabled Woman

August 17, 2012

As an Asian woman, I think I can see what the parents were trying to do. They were looking for a carer for their daughter. This happens often and has recently had a lot of coverage.

But no person, disabled or otherwise, should be forced into marriage. And if this woman lacks the understanding to be married, then the annulment is a good thing.

I wonder if there will be more cases like this one brought to courts and public attention? I hope so.

A judge has said the arranged marriage of a UK woman of Bangladeshi origin, who is disabled and has severe learning difficulties, should be annulled.

Mrs Justice Parker ruled that the woman clearly lacked the mental capacity to consent to marriage and it should be a “nullity” in England.

The judge rejected the family’s argument that the marriage was in the woman’s best interests.

The marriage in Bangladesh allowed the woman’s husband to settle in the UK.

The woman, whose identity is not being made public, is unable to perform basic daily tasks and has learning difficulties which are described as very significant.

In 2003, the woman’s parents arranged for her to marry a cousin in Bangladesh who was subsequently given permission to come and live with her in the UK.

Police intervened when the marriage came to the attention of the local authorities.

In the latest ruling, the judge said the marriage should be annulled.

Rising numbers

The parents argued that they were trying to give their daughter security by finding her a husband, and that annulling the marriage would bring shame on their family.

The ruling comes as the authorities in the UK are taking steps to tackle a rise in the number of forced marriages involving people with learning disabilities.

More than 50 such cases were referred to the Foreign Office and Home Office’s specialist Forced Marriage Unit last year.

Last week local councils in England introduced measures to try to tackle the problem.

They issued guidelines for social workers and other staff to raise awareness and spot potential victims.

It is unlawful to give permission for a marriage on behalf of a person if they cannot consent themselves.

The Forced Marriage Unit said it was dealing with a “growing number of referrals” involving such people.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2012 12:35 pm

    The issue of who will take care of adults with severe intellectual impairments (and even physical ones) when their parents grow too old to care for them is something the community should deal with. There are, for example, Jewish old people’s homes so that people without family to look after them can live in a kosher environment and receive the care they need and perhaps Muslim (or Hindu) families are worried about their disabled relatives being put in a ‘home’ and then expected to eat what everyone else eats (like pork) or their religious needs not being met (or deliberately disregarded). So a marriage seems a better option than simply carrying on themselves, but that’s not a good solution either: quite apart from consent or abuse issues, the spouse could divorce them after they get permanent residency and go off and seek a partner that is on their level (or just walk out when they realise what they’ve got themselves into), or they could die and the disabled spouse would be left in the same predicament all over again.

  2. chaminda rathnayake permalink
    December 25, 2012 12:23 pm

    I’m 40 years single man, with a kind heart, I’m seeking a disabled women for marry my mail id and my phone no is 0094718682776


  1. Muslims and the care of those with learning disabilities | Indigo Jo Blogs

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