Young women fleeing forced marriages are being betrayed by GPs and benefits staff who "collude" with families to return them against their will, a senior police officer police has revealed.
Doctors and Job Centre workers are breaching confidentiality rules and passing on vital information to families, allowing them to trace and punish Asian women who are attempting to escape coerced marriages and "honour"-based domestic violence.
Commander Steve Allen, who is the spokesman on forced marriages for Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), revealed that some doctors have informed girls' families that they have asked for the contraceptive pill, placing them at risk from fathers or brothers who believe this means the family's honour has been besmirched.
Cmdr Allen also told The Sunday Telegraph that Job Centre workers have accessed the National Insurance details of women who flee violent husbands, tracing where they collect benefits and passing the details on to their families so they can be found and forced back to their marital home.
Zalikha Ahmed, director of the South Yorkshire based women's refuge Apna Haq, said: "We have to be careful with the police, especially the Asian ones. We don't visit the station where certain Asian officers are on because some of them are perpetrators and one of them on the record said he would not arrest someone who used force on his wife."
The 500 cases of forced marriage currently known to the authorities are only a tiny proportion of the numbers of young girls and even men suspected of being forced to marry against their will.
Every week one British citizen has to be rescued from Pakistan alone by the Foreign and Commonwealth's Forced Marriages Unit.
Cmdr Allen said such marriages result in years of assault and rape, psychological and emotional abuse for the victim, sometimes culminating in kidnapping and even murder when they try to flee.
Cmdr Allen said: "We have too many areas where people don't believe this is an issue for them. But we are seeing situations across the country where victims, who are at extreme risk, are being moved to another part of the country, away from their home towns, by their families.
"We also are talking here about bounty hunters and professional killers being used to track down relatives and these people are going to be killed. This is about child protection, human rights and young people having their lives destroyed and all too often being murdered because they dared to love with their heart."
Source: Telegraph (English), h/t Winds of Jihad