If you or the person you are concerned about is in immediate danger, call the Police on 999.
Everyone in Britain, whatever their religion or belief, has the right to choose whether to get married and who they want to marry. But in some cases people are forced into marriage because:
- it is to someone they don’t like or have never even met
- they are too young to get married (sometimes as young as 12 or 13) or
- don’t feel ready to marry at all
- they do not have capacity to consent due to a physical and/or learning disability
- they are lesbian or gay and do not want to marry someone of the opposite sex
Forced marriage is different from an arranged marriage because in arranged marriages, although families may take a leading role in choosing the partners, the choice of whether or not to consent to the marriage remains with the potential spouses. Forced marriage affects people from many communities and cultures.
Practical help and advice for those who are:
- being forced to marry in the UK
- going abroad for a forced marriage
- in a forced marriage
- or concerned about somebody in a Forced Marriage or at risk of being Forced to Marry
Call the Forced Marriage Unit on 020 7008 0151 (if dialling from overseas +44 (0)20 7008 0151). They are open 9.00am- 5.00pm Monday to Friday; outside of these times call the Foreign Office Response Centre on 020 7008 1500.
Honour Based Abuse
The concept of ‘honour’ is for extremely important for some communities. Individuals are expected to conform to perceived cultural and religious beliefs. When behaviour is considered to breach this expectation, it is thought to bring shame on the family and/or community. The punishment for bringing dishonour can be emotional abuse, physical abuse, family disownment and in some cases even murder.
In most honour-based abuse cases there are multiple perpetrators from the immediate family, sometimes the extended family and occasionally the community at large. Mothers, sisters, aunties and even grandmothers have been known to be involved in the conspiring of honour crimes.
Honour based abuse will often go hand in hand with forced marriages, although this is not always the case.
There are a range of specialist services that can you contact for advice and information of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse.
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid - a local specialist organisation who offer confidential advice, information and support.
Muslim Women’s Network - A national organisation who focuses on improving social justice and equality for Muslim women and girls.
Karma Nirvana - A British human rights charity supporting victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage.
Ikwro - Helps Middle Eastern and Afghan women and girls who are living in the UK, providing confidential advice on issues including Domestic Abuse, Honour based abuse, Forced Marriage, Child Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, Separation and Divorce, Child Custody, Housing and benefits
West Midlands helpline for anyone at risk or in a Forced Marriage and/or experiencing Honour Based Abuse. The helpline: 0800 953 9777 is available for 24 hours, 7 days a week and offers emotional and practical support. The number is free from landlines and mobiles.