What is 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 where pressure or ABUSE is used. Pressure can be physical (threats of violence or actual violence) financial, sexual or emotional, for example making someone feel they are bringing SHAME on the family.
What is the impact of forced marriage?
Forced marriage transcends many cultures, religions, class, gender and sexuality and can result in false imprisonment, kidnapping, threats of violence, blackmail, rape, assault, domestic violence and so called ‘honour’ based abuse. It is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and children, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.
If you or someone you know is being forced into a marriage, help and advice is available here or visit the partners pages for regional help and advice.
What is Violence Against Women & Girls? (VAWG)
The internationally agreed definition of VAWG is any act of gender-based violence likely to result in ‘physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women [or girls]’
Source: UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, Article 1, 1993.
Forced marriage and honour based violence is part of the spectrum of violence against women and girls (VAWG)
Forced Marriage Warning Signs
Victims facing a forced marriage may not find it easy express their concerns, but there are some warning signs that may indicate the possibility of an impending or forced marriage, we have listed some below but are aware these signs alone do not mean someone is at risk, always contact a specialist service provider for advice.
Failure to return from visits to country of origin
Surveillance by siblings or cousins
Poor performance in class/disengaged
Being removed from education by those with parental responsibility
Prevented from further education
Announcement of engagement to a stranger
Not allowed to attend extra-curricular activities
Sudden changes in behaviour/performance.
Limited career choices
Leaving/Arriving work accompanied
Unable to attend business trips or functions
Subject to financial control e.g. confiscation of wages/income
Not allowed to work Inflexible working
History of self-harm/ suicide/early marriage
Confiscation of mobile/ laptop/money
Running away from home
Restricted movement Fear of going home
Reports of domestic abuse or breaches of the peace at the family home
Other siblings wishing the family reported missing
Victim reported for offences e.g. shoplifting/ substances misuse
Reports of other offences such as rape, assault or kidnappings
Accompanied to doctors or clinic
Self harm/Attempted suicide
Female genital mutilation
Sudden removal from a day centre of a person with a physical/learning disability