Event to Raise Awareness of Predatory Marriage
Residents of South Tyneside are encouraged to find out more about 'predatory marriage' at an event next week.
A 'predatory marriage' is typically where one person does not have the required mental capacity to consent to marriage but is led into it and taken advantage of by the other party to secure financial or other gains.
'Predators' can take advantage of the fact that entering a marriage will revoke any will that has formerly been put in place. This means that, when the individual dies, the predator benefits from their estate.
South Tyneside Safeguarding Children and Adults Partnership is holding an event to raise awareness of predatory marriage on Wednesday 4th October from 10am -12noon in the Reception Room in South Shields Town Hall. The event is free to attend and is part of the Partnership's support for the Festival of International Older Person's Day.
Speaking at the event will be Daphne Franks who will share the tragic story of how her mother, Joan Blass, was led into marriage when she had dementia. The family is now calling for reform of marriage laws and procedures to protect people with dementia.
Councillor Ruth Berkley, Lead Member for Adults, Health and Independence, said: "This is a truly shocking new form of exploitation which preys on those most at risk in our society.
"Sadly, as a result of an ageing population and increasing numbers of people with dementia, these cases are on the rise.
"Campaigners who have investigated predatory marriage have noticed patterns of behaviours that can be defined as "grooming" - the predatory spouse looks to alienate the victim from their family and friends and most of the marriages take place in secrecy. This form of abuse will also include forms of control, coercion and exploitation."
Councillor Berkley added: "I would encourage anyone who cares for an older person to professionals and volunteers to come along and find out more about this heinous form of abuse."
To book a place at the event, visit https://shorturl.at/nxzCI or call 0191 424 6512 or simply drop in on the day.
Residents are also encouraged to raise awareness of predatory marriage and support Daphne's national campaign by sharing information about Predatory Marriage (www.predatorymarriage.org.uk) and by contacting their local MP.
A range of events are being organised to mark International Older Persons' Day. To find out more, visit https://southtyneside.gov.uk/olderpersonsevents