Children as young as nine have been rescued from forced marriages under new special protection orders, The Times can disclose.
The nine-year-olds were among 86 females granted the civil safeguards in the 12 months since the forced marriage protection orders were introduced. Nearly half of the applicants, 39, were children with some as young as nine, the Ministry of Justice confirmed.
Although the overall number of 86 victims seems low, it is twice the number the Government had expected to seek help in the first year of the orders coming into effect.
Hundreds of girls and young women in the UK are forced into marriage each year, according to the report published by the Ministry of Justice into the first year of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act of 2007.