A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. It is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.
The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking your wages or not giving you any money) can also be a factor.
The government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has launched their summer campaign which will run from the 12th until the 22nd, this is in time to target the spike summer period where families use the opportunity of the long holiday to take individuals overseas for marriages. The FMU will be using this time to make potential victims aware of the risks, and potential perpetrators aware of the consequences.
In 2015, the FMU gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage in 1,220 cases. No matter how bad things may seem, help is always available.
If you have any concerns that an individual is at risk of being forced into a marriage call Warwickshire Police (999/ 101) or the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 01926 414144
More information can be found here