Forced Marriages

What is a Forced Marriage?

It is a marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of both parties. Forced can include physically forced, in addition to emotional pressure/duress.

This is very different to an arranged marriage, in which families take a leading role, but the parties have the free will and choice to accept or decline the arrangement. There is no religion that says it is right to force you into a marriage and you are not betraying your faith by refusing such a marriage.

Forced marriage is a fundamental abuse of human rights. Both physical and emotional abuse may be used to coerce people into the marriage.

There are many reasons for forced marriage for example:

  • Long standing family commitments and agreements (promised at birth)
  • Bereavement of a parent (particularly a father)
  • Ensuring the continued care of a child/adult with special needs
  • Immigration (assisting claims for UK residence/citizenship)
  • Financial Gain/retaining wealth.

What is the Forced Marriage Unit?

The Forced Marriage Unit is a joint initiative of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office. Their trained professionals offer confidential advice and assistance to:

  • Those who have been forced into marriage
  • Those at risk of being forced into marriage
  • People worried about friends or relatives
  • Professionals working with actual or potential victims of forced marriage.

The Law on Forced Marriage

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 makes it a criminal offence to force someone to marry 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)
  • Breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order is also a criminal offence
  • The civil remedy of obtaining a Forced Marriage Protection Order through the family courts will continue to exist alongside the new criminal offence, so victims can choose how they wish to be assisted.

Forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to seven years in prison

Disobeying a Forced Marriage Protection Order can result in a sentence of up to five years in prison

Are you at risk of Forced Marriage? Or know someone who maybe at risk?

Contact Cheshire Police on 101 or in an emergency 999

Or

Contact the Forced Marriage Unit


Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7008 0151
Email: fmu@fco.gov.uk
Email for outreach work: fmuoutreach@fco.gov.uk
Facebook: Forced Marriage page  
Twitter: @FMUnit 
Media enquiries: +44 (0) 20 7008 3100

Or

Contact Karma Nirvana

Karma Nirvana is a charity organisation which offers the following:

  • A Dedicated Helpline
  • Advocacy.

Address:
Karma Nirvana
PO Box 515
Leeds
LS6 9DW

Honour Network Helpline: 0800 5999 247 (Contact between 09:30 and 17:00 Monday to Friday).

Report it

In an emergency dial 999

Non emergencies- 101

Crimestoppers- 0800 555 111

The Forced Marriage Unit

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7008 0151

Email: fmu@fco.gov.uk

Email for outreach work: fmuoutreach@fco.gov.uk

Facebook: Forced Marriage page    

Twitter: @FMUnit    

Media enquiries: +44 (0) 20 7008 3100

Karma Nirvana

Website

Address:

Karma Nirvana

PO Box 515

Leeds

LS6 9DW

Honour Network Helpline: 0800 5999 247

Contact between 09:30 and 17:00 Monday to Friday.