21 Dec 2012

Women forced into marriage to get more support

6:42 am on 21 December 2012

Young women and underage girls forced into marriage will now have better support from the government, after several agencies agreed on a co-ordinated response to help them.

Police, Child Youth and Family, Work and Income, Immigration and other social agencies have signed an agreement on how best to deal with the rising problem of forced marriage.

Inspector Brigitte Nimmo, who is police manager of family violence, says the more multicultural New Zealand gets, the more prevalent the problem becomes.

Ms Nimmo says forced marriage is not an offence in this country, but there are other steps police and agencies can take to protect people's human rights, and to make sure women are safe.

She says agency staff will receive specialised training to deal with what are often very complex situations.