What is it?
Forced marriage is when someone is made to marry someone they do not want to. Often someone who is being forced to marry will have several abusers, as their entire family, and members of their community could be forcing them into the marriage. This can leave them feeling isolated, scared and unsafe, especially around their family.
Forced marriage is different to an arranged marriage
An arranged marriage is when both people who will be in the relationship agree to the marriage. However, if someone changes their mind and they are still forced to marry, it becomes a forced marriage.
A forced marriage is where one or both people do not consent to the marriage but are coerced into it. This coercion can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. In the cases of some vulnerable people who lack the capacity to consent, coercion is not required for a marriage to be forced.
Forced marriage is illegal
As of the 16th June 2014 it is illegal to force someone into marriage. This includes tricking someone to travel abroad to marry.
Anyone can be forced into marriage
Forced marriage can happen to both women and men (1 in 5 victims of forced marriage are male), although many of the reported cases involve young women and girls aged between 16-25. There is no "typical" victim of forced marriage. They may be over or under 18 years of age, some may have a disability, some may have children and some may also be from overseas.
A forced marriage protection order can help
If you are scared that you are going to be forced to marry someone, you can get a forced marriage protection order. This will prevent your family from controlling you further. Check out more on our Forced marriage help page here
You, and only you have the right to choose who you marry, when you are ready.
Forced marriage of any person, regardless of gender, age, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation is unacceptable.
This information is up to date as of 28th March 2019 and will not be updated soon