Dwinderjit Kaur, 51, from Nottingham became the first British woman to successfully sue for the return of her dowry
Dwinderjit Kaur, 51, from Nottingham became the first British woman to successfully sue for the return of her dowry

Hundreds of women in Britain have been subjected to being burnt, scalped and imprisoned in their homes in disputes with their in-laws in abuse that has been dubbed "dowry violence".

Police have now launched their first ever investigation into this kind of violence after evidence was discovered by the Independent.

Dowry, a centuries-old custom, involves a woman's family paying her new husband's family. It is still prevalent in parts of South Asia, the Middle East, parts of Africa and in some communities in Britain.

While many of the following countries have enforced laws banning dowry because of the death toll to women, it is still legal in Britain:

India

In India, dowry was banned in 1961 under the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Pakistan

Pakistan has passed five separate laws making dowry illegal. The first one was implemented in 1964 and the most recent one in 2008.

Nepal

Nepal made it illegal in 2009, with the Social Customs and Practices Act which outlawed dowry.

Kenya

Kenya’s Marriage Bill, implemented in 2012, prohibits any dowry payments.

Greece

In 1983, Greece amended its family laws to abolish dowry.

Australia

In May this year, Australian MPs tabled a petition in Parliament to have dowry banned as part of the country’s Family Violence Protection Act.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, no law or sanctions currently exist, but women’s campaigners have been vocal in pushing for a ban.

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