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4 Aug, 2018 10:57

‘Used as a ticket’: Victim of forced marriage hits out at UK’s inaction on spousal visas

‘Used as a ticket’: Victim of forced marriage hits out at UK’s inaction on spousal visas

A British victim of forced marriage has hit out at the government’s inaction in investigating claims of unwanted spousal visas, telling RT that the scale of men coming to the UK through the practice is “massive.”

Sunny Angel, twice a victim of forced marriage, described that Indian men asking her family to marry her had hoped to “use her as a ticket” to the UK by gaining a visa through marriage.

“[As] the victims, we don’t want them here,” she added.

Her harrowing experience comes as an investigation by The Times found that the Home Office had turned a “blind eye” to dozens of attempts by women to block visas for spouses they were forced to marry in countries such as Pakistan, the UAE, India, and Bangladesh. Of the 88 attempts by women to block the spousal visa last year, only 42 were addressed by the Home Office.

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Jasvinder Sanghera, founder of the UK-based charity Karma Nirvana Charity Group, told RT she fears part of the reason for the government’s lack of response was a “fear of offending communities.”

“In these cases, the victims themselves reported that they didn’t want this person to come to the country and yet still, what the data tells us... was that these visas were still allowed,” Sanghera said.

“We have these people living in Britain now as a result of our victim being forced into a marriage.”

The Home Office has said that an urgent investigation is underway.

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