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Forced Marriage: Just The Facts

Forced marriage is a crime in Great Britain.

A forced marriage is where one or both people do not consent (or in cases of people with learning or physical disabilities, cannot consent) to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used to force them to marry.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be:

  • Physical including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence
  • Emotional and psychological for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family
  • Financial abuse including taking away their wages or not giving them any money

Who to contact if you are at risk

If you, or anyone you know, think they are at risk of being forced into a marriage, it is important that you tell a trusted adult like a school nurse or a teacher as soon as possible. In an emergency you should call the police on 999.

There are ways that you can be protected so that you don’t have to go through with the marriage. For confidential support, help and advice you can contact:

  • Police Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit
  • Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) on 020 7008 0151 (Monday to Friday 09:00 – 5:00pm)
  • Freedom Charity or call 0845 607 0133
  • Global Response Centre (out of hours) 020 7008 1500 E:
  • Henna Foundation (Cardiff) : 029 20496920
  • Karma Nirvana: 0800 5999 247
  • Forced
  • Metropolitan police service 
  • In an emergency, contact the police on 999

What to do if you are travelling abroad and are at risk of forced marriage while overseas

Leave the following information with a trusted friend, or the Forced Marriage Unit:

  • Name and date of birth as shown on passport
  • Passport number (with date and place of issue)
  • Overseas contact details and address of where you’ll be staying
  • Number of secret mobile taken overseas
  • Address and telephone number (including mobile) in the UK
  • A recent photograph
  • Contact details of a trusted third party in the UK
  • Parents’ names and address(es)
  • Departure and expected return date (copies of tickets if possible)
  • Names of those you are travelling with
  • Names of family members remaining in the UK
  • Any other useful information such as any secret code words

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse..

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Find help in your local area

Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

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