A forced marriage is when one or both parties do not consent to the marriage and are forced into marriage against their will. There could be physical and emotional abuse used to coerce you into the marriage. Forced marriage is an abuse of human rights.

Forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage, where you have a choice as to whether to accept the arrangement or not. Arranged marriages operate successfully in many communities and countries.

If someone you know is being forced into a marriage either in the UK or abroad, contact either West Yorkshire Police on 101, the Forced Marriage Unit on 0207 008 0151 or by emailing fmu@fco.gov.uk.

If you wish to find out more about the Forced Marriage Unit visit: www.gov.uk/stop-forced-marriage .

Warning Signs

Warning signs of someone being at risk of a forced marriage include:

  • Extended absence from school/college
  • Truancy
  • A drop in performance
  • Low motivation
  • Excessive parental restriction
  • A history of brothers/sisters leaving education early to marry
  • Control of movements
  • Poor attendance in the workplace
  • Poor performance
  • Parental control of income
  • Limited career choices
  • Evidence of self-harm
  • Treatment for depression
  • Attempted suicide
  • Social isolation
  • Easting disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Evidence of family disputes/conflict
  • Domestic violence
  • Running away from home

Victims of these crimes do not have to suffer in silence and are urged to contact someone for help. See further help and support.