Asha April update

It's been another busy month for us at Asha!

Forced Marriage News

We have been participating in the Forced Marriage Unit Partnership Board meetings where a variety of organisations have come together to discuss what they are doing in relation to tackling the problem of Forced Marriage.

Forced Marriage is going to be criminalised in the UK in the upcoming months. Asha was one of the organisations that said no to criminalisation in the original government consultation. We are concerned about the negative effects a criminal law may have on the women who experience Forced Marriage. These include the problem being driven further underground, putting women at more risk of harm and the demonisation of certain communities. Asha believes that Forced Marriage is a social practise and one of the consequences of controlling women and girls, just like other forms of Domestic Violence. It should be seen in the wider context of the Violence Against Women and Girls Agenda, not separated from it. Forced Marriage is a very misunderstood problem and needs to be addressed through awareness-raising and education. However, the criminalisation will be taking effect in the near future – we will keep you updated with the changes.


Asha is continuing to deliver specialist Forced Marriage training in partnership with Lambeth Council for practitioners based in Lambeth. Please check Lambeth's schedule of VAWG (Violence against Women and Girls) training, which is available on their website - 

Asha were also warmly welcomed by Age UK Croydon to talk about our services and Forced Marriage & Honour-based Violence.


The European Commission is conducting a public consultation calling for views on how best to develop measures at an EU level to fight female genital mutilation. The consultation is available on the Commission's website until 30 May.

New definition of Domestic Violence

The Government definition of domestic violence has changed, as of 31st March 2013.The new definition states:

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening

behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional.

 Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.’