If you are feeling pressurised into marrying someone, or you feel that you have no say in the decision, you are being forced into a marriage. Whether the marriage is taking place abroad or here in the UK, it is important to understand that you have the right to say no, and that support is available.
A forced marriage is when you feel that you can not say ‘no’ to the marriage. Both men and women, of different ages, communities and backgrounds can be victims of a forced marriage. It is important to remember that forced marriage is not a ‘cultural or religious’ issue, it can be experienced by people from different cultural groups, and is condemned by every major religion.
It is important not to confuse ‘forced’ marriage with ‘arranged’ marriage. An arranged marriage is when the families are involved in helping to choose the marriage partner, but it is the choice of both the bride and groom whether they want to get married or not. A forced marriage is when they have no choice or feel that they have no choice.
Forced Marriage Protection Orders have been introduced to protect victims from being forced into marriage. An order can also be made to protect someone who has already been forced into marriage to help remove them from the situation.
The FMU (Forced Marriage Unit) can tell you how to ask the court for a Forced Marriage Protection Order. Each order is unique, and is designed to protect you according to your individual circumstances. For example, the court may order someone to hand over your passport or reveal where you are. In an emergency, an order can be made to protect you immediately.
There are often links between forced marriage (FM) and honour based violence (HBV) though HBV can occur where there is no evidence of a FM and FM can be motivated by reasons other than honour, such as finances / visa application.
Our staff are fully trained to support you with this issue.