A forced marriage occurs when either party or both, the bride and groom do not consent to marriage that goes ahead anyway because of outside pressure, usually from the families involved.
It is important differentiate between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. An arranged marriage occurs when families choose potential matches for marriage but ultimately the final decision to marry lies with the two people chosen.
Forced Marriages are ILLEGAL in the UK and in many other countries across the world.
The pressure applied by families on the individuals can be considerable and intense in nature and can take many different forms including financial and emotional pressure, psychological pressure, blackmail, intimidation, threats (or actual) of physical or sexual violence and in some cases even murder (honour killing)
“In 2018 and the first successful prosecution of its kind a mother who forced her daughter to marry a relative nearly twice her age was convicted for Forced Marriage offences.
As the girl approached her 18th Birthday she was tricked into travelling to Pakistan and once there was forced to sign marriage papers.
When the daughter protested her mother assaulted her and threatened to burn her passport”
It is hard to believe that forced marriages can take place in somewhere like the UK, however they do. According to Home Office statistics since 2012 the Forced Marriage Unit has provided support for between 1,200 and 1,400 forced marriages per year.
The number of cases in 2018 represents a 47% increase from cases in 2017.
574 cases involved victims under the age of 18
In 2018 there were 119 cases of Forced Marriage where the marriage took place entirely in the UK with no overseas element.
There are many reasons a family might want to force someone to marry a person not of their choosing.
It can be a way of ‘protecting’ children from the ‘pressures’ of ‘western culture’ or to stop overly ‘westernised behaviour’ such as make-up and fashions.
It is used to stop someone marrying outside their ethnicity, caste, culture or religion or otherwise engaging in an ‘unsuitable relationship’.
It can be a way of controlling unwanted sexuality such as homosexuality or promiscuity.
As well as a long list of other reasons it may also be done to fulfil a long-standing commitment to another family.
If you or someone else is affected by Forced Marriage then you can contact the Forced Marriage Unit on 020 7008 0151 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about Forced Marriage take this online course