A forced marriage is a marriage which takes place without the consent of either the bride or groom (this is not to be confused with an arranged marriage, when both parties are given a choice and freely give their consent).
Forced marriage is often misunderstood to be an acceptable side of tradition and culture. In reality it is a violation of human rights and is a form of domestic abuse. Forced marriages can often result in rape, assault and abduction.
Victims of forced marriage may be tricked into going abroad and then have their passport taken away until they have participated in a marriage, or they may be threatened with physical violence or emotionally blackmailed into marriage.
As well as those who simply do not want to marry the other person, forced marriages include children who are below the age of legal marriage in the UK and lesbian and gay people who do not want to marry someone of the opposite sex.
In 2007 the Forced Marriages Protection Order was introduced to help protect people at risk from forced marriage. Your local domestic abuse support service, the police or a solicitor can offer you further advice about taking out Orders.
If you think you are at risk of or are in a forced marriage please seek help – GET HELP NOW.