Forced Marriage

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A forced marriage is:

"A marriage conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties, where duress is a factor".






This means that either the bride or groom or both of them do NOT wish to marry but they are been forced too.


This can include:

  • Parents forcing their child to marry 


  • Extended family members are forcing the bride and groom to marry, this can include pressure also being placed on the immediate family of the bride and / or groom.


  • The wider community may put pressure on the bride, groom or their families to encourage the union. 


  • Forced marriage can happen between people here in the UK or between someone from the UK with someone abroad.



To Report Concerns about a Forced Marriage
Any person having concerns about the welfare or safety of person who is believed to be or being forced into marriage please report it by calling 101
If you have any doubts concerns we would prefer to receive a false call with good intentions rather than no call.
Remember: in an emergency call 999.


We take all reports seriously and our specialist trained officers will work with victims, we understand that confidentiality is key and that brides and grooms do not wish to isolated themselves from their families. We will work with you to ensure your safety.

The Forced Marriage Unit part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are available for help and advice, they can be contacted on 0207 008 0151. The FCO can help to repatriate you back to this country if you have been forced into a marriage abroad.



Safety Advice
If you do not feel like talking to the police or other agencies yet, then here is some safety advice if you think you may be forced into a marriage in this country or while abroad:
  • Keep a copy of your passport including dual nationality passports 


  • Tell a trusted friend if you are travelling abroad and give them addresses of where you will be staying and also details of your return flight so they can alert the police if you fail to return on that date 


  • Have a mobile to hand that you can be contacted on and leave the number with trusted people so you are contactable 


  • Memorise police phone numbers, and/or email addresses of the Forced Marriage unit and trusted friends in case you have to call them in an emergency 


  • Have addresses of British Embassies available


 How do arranged marriages differ from forced marriages?

  • In arranged marriages; the families of both parties take a leading role in arranging the marriage, but the choice whether to marry or not is left to the couple.
  • In forced marriages:
    • one or both spouses do not consent to the marriage and some element of duress is involved
    • Or, in the case of some vulnerable adults, they cannot consent to the marriage and some element of duress is involved.
      • Duress can include:
        • physical,
        • psychological,
        • sexual
        • and emotional pressure.




 Forced Marriage Protection Orders (Civil Protection Act 2007)

A Forced Marriage Protection order can be made by a Family Court in order to protect victims, both adults and children of a potential forced marriage or people who are already in a forced marriage. This is a legal document issued by a judge designed to protect individuals according to their particular circumstances. It contains legally binding conditions and directions that require a change in the behaviour of a person or persons trying to force another person into marriage.

Forced Marriage Protection Orders may be made to prevent a forced marriage from occurring, to stop intimidation and violence, to reveal the whereabouts of a person, to stop somebody from being taken abroad, to hand over passports etc. The court may attach a power of arrest to any order made. You can find out more about forced marriage protection orders here.





We work with a charity based in Middlesbrough who offer support and advice to anyone suffering from Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriage.

You can: -

Visit their website:

Call them on: 01642 683 045


 You can get more information from the Forced Marriage Unit.

You can: -

Call them on: 020 7008 0151


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