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The demographics of forced marriage of people with learning disabilities: findings from a national database

Clawson, Rachael; Patterson, Anne; Fyson, Rachel; McCarthy, Michelle

Authors

Anne Patterson

Michelle McCarthy



Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this study is to compare the UK demographics of forced marriage of people with learning disabilities and people without learning disabilities to inform effective safeguarding practice.

Design/methodology/approach
An analysis of all cases of forced marriage reported to the UK Government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) between 2009 and 2015.

Findings
People with learning disabilities are at five times greater risk of forced marriage than people without learning disabilities. Men and women with learning disabilities are equally likely to be forced to marry, whereas amongst the general population, women are more likely than men to be forced to marry. Patterns of ethnicity, geographic location within the UK and reporters are the same for people with and without learning disabilities.

Research limitations/implications
The analysis is based on cases reported to the FMU, and for some cases, data held was incomplete. More importantly, many cases go unreported and so the FMU data does not necessarily reflect all cases of forced marriage in the UK.

Practical implications
Forced marriage of people with learning disabilities is a safeguarding issue. Practitioners across health, education, criminal justice and social care need to better understand the risk of forced marriage for people with learning disabilities. Links to practice resources developed as part of the wider project are provided.

Originality/value
This is the first time that researchers have been given access to FMU data and the first time that a statistical analysis of cases of forced marriage involving someone with a learning disability have been analysed.

Citation

Clawson, R., Patterson, A., Fyson, R., & McCarthy, M. (2020). The demographics of forced marriage of people with learning disabilities: findings from a national database. Journal of Adult Protection, 22(2), 59-74. https://doi.org/10.1108/jap-09-2019-0029

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 13, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 13, 2020
Publication Date Mar 13, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 6, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 6, 2020
Journal Journal of Adult Protection
Print ISSN 1466-8203
Electronic ISSN 1466-8203
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 2
Pages 59-74
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/jap-09-2019-0029
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/4262498
Publisher URL https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JAP-09-2019-0029/full/html

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