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Predatory Marriage Seminar by Daphne Franks

Date:             25th November 2022

Time:             12:00pm -2:00pm

Platform:        Teams

Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership (TWSP) are hosting an online seminar to raise awareness around Predatory Marriage. The seminar will be delivered by Daphne Franks, daughter of Joan who was victim of a predatory marriage and whose brief story is below:

Joan Blass was 91 with severe dementia and terminal cancer. After her death in March 2016, we found that a much younger man, age 68, had secretly married her five months previously. She never knew that she was married (see Our Story section for full story). These events have had a devastating effect on our family both emotionally and financially. We were shocked by how few checks there were to stop this marriage taking place. We believe that there needs to be better protection against such predatory marriage to prevent this happening to anyone else.

We aim to…

  1. Change the law such that a marriage does not automatically revoke a Will
  2. Create an offence of Predatory Marriage, perhaps as a subset of Forced Marriage.
  3. Publish Notices/Banns on the Internet.
  4. Train Registrars to look for signs of insufficient mental capacity to marry.
  5. Add a robust set of questions for registrars to ask at marriage, with clear procedures for them to follow if correct answers are not given.
  6. Ensure Registrars will stop a marriage ceremony if there are any doubts.
  7. Add “The marriage was fraudulent” to the permitted reasons to annul a marriage after one party has died.


During the seminar, Daphne will talk about her personal experience of working with agencies in order to understand how it was possible for her mum to marry in secret desperate having Power of Attorney for her, a mechanism to safeguard her. She describes the lack of ‘professional curiosity’ within the system which ultimately failed to protect her mum from being victim of a marriage she was unaware she was in.


Delivered by:

Daphne Franks - Training Simulated Patients at Plymouth, Exeter and  Liverpool Medical Schools - Peel Roleplay | LinkedIn

Guest speaker Daphne Franks