Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of both parties.

In a forced marriage, you are coerced into marrying someone against your will. You may be physically threatened or emotionally blackmailed to do so, or you may be a victim of psychological abuse. marriage cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis.

Forced marriages are not the same as arranged marriages, where you can choose whether to accept the arrangement or not. In an arranged marriage, families take the lead in selecting a marriage partner but the couple have the free will and choice to accept or decline the arrangement. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and countries for a very long time.

Forced marriages and who to contact for help

​This section explains what forced marriage is, and describes the help that is available to people who are or may become victims of forced marriage.

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Frequently asked questions

In order to better understand the forced marriage issue, it is important to address frequently asked questions.

  1. Are arranged marriages are the same as forced marriages? All arranged marriages are not forced marriages. In arranged marriages, families arrange the match. The individuals getting married have a choice of whether or not to marry. In a forced marriage, the individuals getting married are not given the choice to marry.

  2. Aren’t forced marriages a thing of the past? Forced marriages are still occurring in UK and many different parts of the world. The exact number of forced marriages cases in the UK is not known. Due to stigma and lack of awareness about forced marriages, many people do not report cases of forced marriages.
  3. Why is forced marriage a part of some cultures? it is not a cultural practice. It can occur in any culture, class, religion or area of the world. it is not accepted by any religion or culture.
  4. Who is forced to marry? Forced marriages happen to people of all ages and gender. While many marriages involve domestic violence and violence against women, many men are also victims of this practice. It also happens to trans-gendered trans-sexual, gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals.It can happen to anyone.
  5. Isn’t forced marriage a private family matter? Forced marriages are not a private family matter. It violate human rights and international laws. Parents/caregivers may believe that they are preserving cultural tradition, building stronger families and protecting their children. Regardless of motives, forced marriage is against the law and is an act of violence.