A British jury convicted a woman on Tuesday of forcing her teenage daughter to marry a man 16 years her senior in Pakistan, capping a rare criminal prosecution in England for forced marriage.
The victim said she was 13 years old when she was forced to enter a marriage contract with the man, became pregnant and had an abortion.
She says that as her 18th birthday approached in 2016, she was tricked into going to Pakistan for what she thought was a family vacation and made to marry the man instead.
The girl eventually returned to Britain with government help.
The Birmingham Crown Court jury found her mother guilty of forced marriage and perjury.
The woman, who can‘t be named to protect the identity of her daughter, is set to be sentenced on Wednesday.
Britain introduced an offence of forced marriage in 2014, but prosecutions have been rare — in part because victims often do not want to report family members to police.
Superintendent Sally Holmes of West Midlands Police said the case decided on Tuesday was important “to give people the confidence they need in coming forward, and to say that absolutely it‘s the right thing to do to report the matter”.
The government‘s Forced Marriage Unit says it has issued more than 1 500 forced marriage protection orders since 2008. The court orders — a step short of criminal prosecution — are designed to prevent people from being forced to wed.