Visit our new website
Our new website is coming soon - you can view some of the new features by clicking the link. Check back for updates on careers, firearms and explosives licensing, crime prevention advice and more.
Visit our new website
Search Site

Leave page quickly

Forced marriage

Forced Marriage

It is illegal to force someone to marry against their will. Forced marriage is a crime where one or both spouses do not, or cannot, consent to the marriage and force is involved.This can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.

Forced marriage is not the same as an 'arranged marriage'. Arranged marriage is a cultural practice, is not unlawful, and involves the consent of both spouses.

In 2014, legislation was introduced meaning that forcing someone to marry against their will is a crime and anyone found guilty of this can face up to seven years in prison. Potential victims or victims of forced marriage may be experiencing:

  • domestic abuse

  • sexual assault and rape

  • depression

  • poor performance at work, school or college or regular absence

  • no control over their own money

  • a surprise engagement to an apparent stranger

  • they may not return from a visit to another country

  • early or unwanted pregnancy

Domestic abuse - help available
Domestic abuse - help available

If you or someone you know has concerns about being forced into marriage, please report it to the police or a support agency. There is help available throughout West Mercia for people who are, or who may be at risk of forced marriage.

Forced Marriage Unit

The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is a joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office unit which leads on the government's forced marriage policy, outreach and casework. It operates a public helpline to provide advice and support to victims of forced marriage as well as to professionals dealing with cases.

Karma Nirvana Helpline

Supporting all victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage

Reunite International Child Abduction Centre

UK charity specialising in parental child abduction and the movement of children across international borders.


Childline helps anyone under 19 in the UK with trained counsellors. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night.

Henna Foundation

A third sector registered charity, committed to strengthening families within the Muslim Community and providing the Muslim Family with advice, support, advocacy, training and policy research.

Home Office advice

Muslim Community Helpline

The Muslim Community Helpline is a confidential, non-judgemental listening & emotional support service.


National 24 hour counseling service, to help parents, professionals and anyone worried about a child in the UK.