GPs should report their suspicions of forced marriages

GPs should inform the police if they suspect a patient has been forced to marry against her will.

DoH guidance issued this week advises GPs to take a photocopy of a patient's passport and to give out a secret mobile phone if she is being taken overseas to marry.

GPs should use independent interpreters rather than family members if they suspect forced marriage. A medical examination may be the only time the victim is left unsupervised.

The guidance tells GPs how to spot signs such as depression and sexual assault which are often associated with forced marriage.

Health minister Caroline Flint said: 'This guidance will help health professionals understand the danger victims face.'

The number of cases reported annually to the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has risen sharply from 200 to 300 in just two years.

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