Forced marriage is a crime

There are no excuses for forced marriage. It is not a cultural or religious practice - it is a form of abuse.

What is it?

Consent is a really important part of marriage.

A ‘forced’ marriage is one where either or both parties don’t give their free and full consent to be married, but someone has made them go ahead with it anyway.

‘Force’ can take a number of different forms. It might be physical violence, threats against the victim or others, or even psychological or emotional abuse. Very often, it will be a combination of a number of different things, perhaps over a prolonged period of time.

Who is at risk?

Forced marriage affects people of all ages, all genders and from all over the world.

Like FGM, forced marriage is a form of so-called ‘honour’ based abuse, which means that forced marriages often occurs within patriarchal structures that are heavily concerned with ‘honour’ and ‘status’ within their community.

There is not a single religion in the world that advocates forced marriage.

How can you help?

The first step towards eradicating forced marriage is making sure that people know about it. For far too long, forced marriage along with other examples of ‘honour’ based violence have been ignored and pushed underground.

The greater the awareness, the greater the chance that those at-risk can be helped.

If you’re a teacher, book a workshop for your school, download our resources or attend one of our upcoming events in your area.


There is no such thing as a typical victim.

    The statistics show that those most at risk of being forced into marriage against their will are girls under the age of 18.
    Tragically, many forced marriage victims suffer in silence so the actual number of children at-risk is likely to be a lot higher then the statistics suggest.

  • 40%

    Victims under the age of 16 (where the age was known)*

  • 79%

    Female victims*

  • 23%

    Domestic cases with no overseas element*

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