Policy and professional responses to forced marriage in Scotland

Chantler, K., Mirza, N. and Mackenzie, M. (2022) Policy and professional responses to forced marriage in Scotland. British Journal of Social Work, 52(2), pp. 833-849. (doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcab068)

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This article draws from our mixed methods study of forced marriage (FM) in Scotland focusing on policy and practice responses to FM in Scotland using the concepts of candidacy and structural competency. Through an analysis of FM policy in six case-study areas, interviews with Child or Adult Protection Leads and twenty-one interviews with a range of welfare professionals, we discuss the conceptual, emotional and practical challenges of responding to FM. Despite a standard Scottish Government policy and statutory framework, the varied policy and professional responses to FM across local authorities demonstrate a need for practitioners to be fully cognisant of the ways in which structural inequalities play out in individual lives. The four key themes explored in this article are as follows: (i) patchy ownership of FM policy at a local level; (ii) ‘race anxiety’; (iii) event versus process-based understandings of FM and (iv) the challenges of protecting adults experiencing FM who have capacity. These themes are highly relevant to social work practice and offer a significant and original analysis of the ways in which structural, social and cultural factors shape practitioner understanding, response and support of victims of FM.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study was funded by the Scottish Government under reference number SG/RES/2015/035.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mirza, Dr Nughmana and Mackenzie, Professor Mhairi
Authors: Chantler, K., Mirza, N., and Mackenzie, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:British Journal of Social Work
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1468-263X
Published Online:14 April 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in British Journal of Social Work 52(2): 833-849
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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