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Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not consent to the marriage and/or they are coerced or pressured into marrying. Many can feel pressured by family or community members.

In June 2014, it became a criminal offence to force someone to marry. This includes taking someone overseas to marry.

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Forced Marriage Protection Orders

If you have concerns about someone you know being forced into a marriage, you are worried about being forced into a marriage, or you are already in a forced marriage; you can apply for a forced marriage protection order. These orders are granted by a designated County Court or a High Court.

If you believe that you are going to be taken abroad to be forced into a marriage you should consider not taking the trip if you can, and if you cannot then you should contact the police. They will assist you with safeguarding measures, the application of a forced marriage protection order, will remove you from an immediate dangerous situation and protect you in the future.

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If you are not able to or it is not safe to contact the police, you should contact a friend you can trust and ask them to contact the police on your behalf; giving them the following details:

  • The airport you are travelling from and to.
  • Details of the flight.
  • Who you are travelling with.
  • The address of where you are visiting.
  • The relationship of the person you will be visiting.
  • Try and keep a mobile discreetly with international coverage and try and keep some money for yourself to use in an emergency.
  • If you have dual nationality, travel on the British passport.
  • Details of family or friends in the country who will know exactly where you are going to, how long for, and for what reason.
  • Once you have arrived in the foreign country, keep yourself informed as to where you are being taken to, who you are visiting etc.
  • Try and keep hold of your personal documents, passport, ticket etc.

These are a few things to consider when you are or fear you are going to be taken abroad and forced into marriage. A Forced Marriage Protection Order can assist with repatriation of a victim that has been taken abroad against their will back to the UK. For further help and information, please see the websites in related links below.


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