Last updated: 05.10.15

Virtual College to create forced marriage learning

Virtual College commissioned by the Government to create forced marriage online learningTo support professionals dealing with forced marriage in the course of their work and quickly improve general awareness, the government has commissioned online learning specialist, Virtual College, to produce a new e-learning package.Approximately 8,000 to 10,000 forced marriages of British citizens take place every year. A forced marriage is where one or both people do not consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used.Forced marriage is now illegal and the first prosecutions have taken place. Virtual College worked closely with the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), a joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office unit, to create the free online course which raises awareness, challenge perceptions and provides advice on the correct actions to take. A resource pack is also available to help organisations promote this important course and spread awareness.Judith Clarkson, Divisional Director of Virtual College, commented: “Online learning provides a powerful means of communicating to a wide audience - rapidly and cost effectively. In the first 48 hours of launching this course over 1,000 professionals registered"“Last year, we worked with the Home Office to produce online resources about female genital mutilation (FGM). This has already resulted in over 30,000 people accessing the course and resources.”The forced marriage course is one in a series of Vocational Online Open Courses (VOOC®s) produced by Virtual College.The forced marriage course and resources online are available at: female genital mutilation course and resources online are available at: