U.K. Parents Convicted of Luring Teen Daughter to Bangladesh for Forced Marriage

A couple in the U.K. has been found guilty of luring their teenage daughter to Bangladesh for a forced marriage with her first cousin.

The parents told the 19-year-old that the family was going on a six-week vacation to visit other relatives. But shortly after arriving in the South Asian country, the young woman's father told her that he had found her a husband.

"He [the father] said, 'I have planned this for years, the guy is really suitable, I've given him money for university and he's a really attractive guy for 'round here," the daughter, who cannot be named for legal reasons in the U.K., said in court, according to the BBC.

"He was trying to get me to say yes, but at no point did I say yes. I thought it was disgusting because it was my first cousin and stood my ground," she added.

Following a three-week trial, the parents were convicted on Tuesday of forced marriage, which is a criminal offense in the U.K. since 2014. They were also found guilty of one count of using threats, violence or coercion to force their daughter into marriage.

The young woman told the court that her parents' "verbal abuse turned to physical abuse, and my dad hit me over the head one day. It was so bad that the whole room literally went black," The Independent reported.

Describing the parents' brutality, the prosecuting lawyer Michelle Colborne told the court that the daughter's mother encouraged the father's violence.

"Her mother swore at her, reminded her that no was not an option and that if necessary there would be violence against her," Colborne said. "She was later to encourage her husband to strike her. At no point did [the daughter] agree to the proposal."

The mother also said that they would force the daughter to remain in Bangladesh after the wedding, so that she could become pregnant and her cousin could get a visa to the U.K. Due to the efforts of the young woman's sister and her boyfriend in the U.K., British authorities became aware of the situation and were able to rescue the teenager.

Sentencing for the parents will take place on June 18; however, Judge Simon Phillips told them they could expect "immediate imprisonment" following the court date.

The verdict also comes just a week after another British court jailed a woman for four-and-a-half years after she tricked her 17-year-old daughter into traveling to Pakistan for a forced marriage to a man nearly twice her age.

"The secretive and isolating nature of forced marriage means that it is difficult to grasp the true scale of the problem, but we know that our Childline service counsels hundreds of children,"a spokespersonfor the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children told The Guardian.

"We would urge anyone worried about a child to speak up before it is too late, so that we can get help and prevent them being bound into something they would never ask for," the spokesperson said.

U.K. Parents Convicted of Luring Teen Daughter to Bangladesh for Forced Marriage | World