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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.
What is a Forced Marriage – Guidance

Everyone has the right to choose who they marry and when they get married. You are not wrong for having made the brave decision to leave a forced marriage. This book will give you useful and practical information to help you take control of your life and focus on the future
Forced Marriage: A Survivor’s Handbook

The Forced Marriage Unit commissioned 3 short videos to highlight the increased reports of forced marriage during the Summer holidays. These videos show how to spot the signs of forced marriage and focus on 3 young people all affected by these issues.

‘Right to Choose’ Campaign Videos

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.

Film: Devastating Impact of Forced Marriage on Victims and Families

This is a film created by Childline on Forced Marriage

If you (or the person you are concerned about) are under 16, male, disabled or LGBT, you will find all the information on this page useful, however there are also specific organisations who can help you:

Under 16:
Contact Childline
You can call email, or log on for 1-2-1 support.

Contact the Mens Advice Line.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender:
Galop can offer advice about domestic abuse.

Also see the What is Forced Marriage? LGBT Booklet 

It is more important than ever that everyone in the UK is aware of the warning signs of a forced marriage. By downloading the Freedom app, developed in conjunction with the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit and the Metropolitan Police, the user is just a couple of button presses away from life saving help. It’s the 999 of apps and we urge everyone to download it, for free.
Freedom Charity has launched a new smartphone app designed to provide information about forced marriage with links to where potential victims can get help. The free app, which has been part-funded by the Forced Marriage Unit, is available to download on iPhone and Android.