Forced Marriage

What is forced marriage?

A marriage must be entered into with the full and free consent of both people. The two people involved should feel that they have a choice. With forced marriage, one or both of the people involved are forced into a marriage against their will and without their permission. An arranged marriage is not the same as a forced marriage. In an arranged or assisted marriage, the families take a role in choosing and introducing the marriage partners. The marriage is entered into freely by both people.
Young people aged between 16 and 25 are most at risk of being forced into marriage

Forced marriage is now illegal in England and Wales. This includes:
· taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)

· marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)

Forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to 7 years in prison. Everyone in the UK has the right to choose who they marry, irrespective of religion, family views, age or sexuality. The law in Britain helps to protect against forced marriages.
For more information, see the What is Forced Marriage? booklet.

Awareness of Forced Marriage – Free Online Course

Approximately 8,000 to 10,000 forced marriages of British citizens take place every year. Forced marriage is now illegal and the first prosecutions have taken place.

This free online course has been developed with the Forced Marriage Unit of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office. The course raises awareness, challenge perceptions and informs you of the correct actions to take.

Click here to access the course

Film: Devastating Impact of Forced Marriage on Victims and Families

The Forced Marriage Unit has released a new film demonstrating the devastating impact of forced marriage on victims and their families. The film aims to raise public awareness of the issue and warns of the criminal consequences of involvement

Devastating impact of forced marriage

Honour based violence; one young person’s real story; The End and the Beginning – My Story

What to do if you are worried about a child. To discuss concerns or make a referral: