Call Us: 0151 263 7474

Forced Marriage

A marriage must be entered into with the full and free consent of both people. Everyone involved should feel that they have a choice.

An arranged marriage is not the same as a forced marriage. In an arranged marriage, the families take a leading role in choosing the marriage partner. The marriage is entered into freely by both people.

However, in some cases, one or both people are ‘forced’ into a marriage that their families want. A forced marriage is a marriage conducted without the valid consent of both people, where pressure or abuse is used.

You might be put under both physical pressure (when someone threatens to or actually does hurt you), or emotional pressure (for example, when someone makes you feel like you’re bringing shame on your family) to get married.

In some cases people may be taken abroad without knowing that they are to be married. When they arrive in tha country their passports may be taken by their family to try and stop them from returning home.

FORCED marriage is abuse! It is not a cultural tradition it is an abuse of human rights.

If you or someone you know is being forced into a marriage, help and advice is available.


If you or someone you know is being forced into marriage either in the UK or abroad, you can contact the FORCED MARRIAGE UNIT (FMU).

The Forced Marriage Unit is there to help people who are being forced into marriage. The FMU’s caseworkers understand the issues, the family pressures and how difficult it is to talk about these situations.

The Forced Marriage Unit offers confidential support and information.

You have a right to choose… and the Forced Marriage Unit is there to help you.


You can:

Call: (+44) (0)20 7008 0151   Emergency Duty Officer: (+44) (0)20 7008 1500 (out of office hours)

Or e-mail: Find out more about the work of the Forced Marriage Unit at: