The headline-grabbing antics of ethnic women’s groups got Alf in a right tizz this morning.
The buggers are lobbying the Government to pass legislation against forced marriages. claiming that escalating numbers of “high-risk” young victims are coming forward to seek help.
Shakti, which runs refuges for Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern women in New Zealand, has joined with Pacific Women’s Watch and 46 others to petition Parliament to outlaw forced underage marriages – which they say put young girls in situations that can lead to horrendous physical and sexual abuse.
Calls to Shakti’s crisis line have risen to 350 calls a month since July 2010, when they averaged 250 a month. Among these are many young girls – and though more are coming forward, there would be others who are too fearful, Priyanca Radhakrishnan of the Shakti Community Council says.
Alf has every sympathy with the notion that under-age girls should be protected by the law.
But they are protected already.
What could a new law do that the current law can’t do to deal with offences committed within “honour-based” forced relationships, eh?