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Forced marriage is illegal in the UK.

If you or someone you know is at risk of forced marriage or ‘honour’ based abuse please contact the West Midlands Forced Marriage and ‘Honour’ Based Abuse Helpline on 0800 953 9777.

Support is available 7 days a week and is also available for practitioner’s seeking information and guidance on forced marriage or ‘honour’ based abuse. We also offer outreach support too.

This helpline is run in partnership with Panahghar, Roshni and SWAN.

Woman crying

‘Honour’ Based Abuse

The Crown Prosecution Service describes ‘honour’ based abuse as an incident or crime “which has, or may have, been committed to protect or defend the ‘honour’ of the family and or the community.”

Protecting ‘honour’ (Izzat, Ghairat, Namus or Sharam), in BME communities, is of the upmost importance. Many women and girls are therefore subjected to many forms of abuse to uphold honour for themselves and their families in the potential form of;

  • Forced marriage
  • Domestic violence (physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse)
  • Threats to kill
  • Social shunning or rejection, isolation and emotional pressure
  • Denial of access to children
  • House arrest and coercive control
  • No access to the telephone, internet, or ID/Visa documentation

Should victims do something which is deemed to jeopardise the honour of their family, it could lead to extreme danger for the victim and in some cases death. Perpetrators threaten dangerous consequences resulting in the victim doing exactly what they say regardless of the victim’s consent.

It is important you get help and support if you feel this is the case and/or you believe someone is at risk of this type of abuse.

Forced Marriage

You have the right to choose who you marry, when you marry or if you marry at all.

In the UK, forced marriages are illegal.

Forced marriage is when you face physical or emotional pressure to marry and/or you do not consent to the marriage. For example, through threats, physical or sexual violence, you’re made to feel like you’re bringing shame and disgrace on your family if you don’t do as they say.

Many young people are forced into marrying someone against their will. This may be in the form of young girls taken abroad by their family under false pretences. They are told they are going on holiday when they are actually been taken to get married without their knowledge.

Forced Marriage Protection Orders can be requested from the courts. For example, the court may order someone to hand over your passport or reveal where you are to protect you.

If you or someone you know is at risk of forced marriage or ‘honour’ based abuse please contact us on the West Midlands Forced Marriage and ‘Honour’ Based Abuse Helpline on 0800 953 9777.

Support is available 7 days a week and is also available for practitioner’s seeking information and guidance on forced marriage or ‘honour’ based abuse. We also offer outreach support too.