Forced Marriage

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 (Source:

The Forced Marriage Unit provided statistics on forced marriages in the UK:

  • Where the age was known, 15% of cases involved victims below 16 years and 25% involved victims aged 16-17.
  • The FMU handled cases involving 74 different countries, including Pakistan (42.7%), India (10.9%), Bangladesh (9.8%), Afghanistan (2.8%), Somalia (2.5%), Iraq (1.5%), Nigeria (1.1%), Saudi Arabia (1.1%), Yemen (1%), Iran (0.8%), Tunisia (0.8%), The Gambia (0.7%), Egypt (0.6%) and Morocco (0.4%). The origin was unknown in 5.4% of cases (

For advice and assistance contact:

Forced Marriage Unit (FMU)
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7008 0151
Email for outreach work:
Facebook: Forced Marriage page
Twitter: @FMUnit
Media enquiries: +44 (0) 20 7008 3100

Other useful sources of information: