Forced Marriage

A Forced Marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, or under a certain age, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking wages or not giving someone any money) can also be a factor.

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 is a type of harmful practice. These are forms of violence and abuse which have been committed primarily against women and girls in certain communities and societies for so long that they are considered, or presented by perpetrators, as part of accepted cultural practice.

If this is happening to you, there are things you can do to help keep yourself safe. Click here to find out how.

The booklet - Forced Marriage: a survivors handbook – provides useful and practical information for victims of forced marriage.


The Police

You can report Forced Marriage in the following ways:



Find out about the support available for you and your family and how to get the help you need. Contact the Early Help on 01273 292632

If are a member of the public and are concerned about a child's welfare, please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01273 290400


Report abuse or neglect of an adult online or by calling Access Point, the contact centre for Adult Social Care services, on 01273 295555.


Karma NIrvana

Freephone 0800 5999247

Karma Nirvana is a UK registered charity that supports victims and survivors of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse.

Forced Marriage Unit

020 7008 0151

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides information about forced marriage and can intervene to make you safe.