Forced Marriage

New legislation under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 makes forcing someone to marry (or enter into a civil partnership) a criminal offence, whether here or abroad.
 
Forced marriage occurs when a young person is forced into a marriage that they do not want with someone they have not chosen, following coercion, intimidation, threats and possibly physical and sexual abuse.  It is very different from an arranged marriage, where both young people can make the decision to accept or decline the partner chosen for them by their parents.
 
The Signs
 
  • If someone is absent for school for an unusual length of time in another country
  • If someone takes an unexpected trip abroad
  • If someone becomes withdrawn; has less contact with their friends
  • Sometimes someone might be under physical pressure and you may notice bruises and burn marks
  • If a new older adult is suddenly in someone’s life; collecting them from school regularly – who that person does not want to talk about

Who Can Help

If you need help or advice contact one of the following agencies:
 
  • Ashiana Project London: 020 8539 0427 (www.ashiana.org.uk)
  • Forced Marriage Unit: 020 7008 0151 (www.fco.gov.uk) 
  • Freedom Charity: 0845 607 0133 (www.freedomcharity.org.uk)