If you are feeling pressurised into marrying someone, or you feel that you have no say in the decision, you may be being forced into a marriage. Whether the marriage is taking place abroad or here in the UK, it is important to understand that you have the right to say no, and that support is available.
A forced marriage is when you feel that you can not say ‘no’ to the marriage. Both men and women, of different ages, communities and backgrounds can be victims of a forced marriage. It is important to remember that forced marriage is not a ‘cultural or religious’ issue, it can be experienced by people from different cultural groups, and is condemned by every major religion.
It is important not to confuse ‘forced’ marriage with ‘arranged’ marriage. An arranged marriage is when the families are involved in helping to choose the marriage partner, but it is the choice of both the bride and groom whether they want to get married or not. A forced marriage is when they have no choice or feel that they have no choice.
If this is happening to you, there are things you can do to help keep yourself safe. Click here to find out how.
Main contacts for help
Offers crisis support, safe temporary supported housing and long term support to women and children experiencing domestic abuse including Forced Marriage and Honour Based violence. You can contact 0117 925 0680 to speak in confidence to a forced marriage and Honor based violence specialist.
The Sky Project
Based in Bristol, the Sky Project provides information and support for professionals, communities and individuals on issues around forced marriage.
People who can help
If you feel that you are being forced into a marriage, it is not your fault and there are people who can help you.
If someone is at immediate risk ring the Police on 999.
The Foundation works nationally and internationally to advance the needs, concerns and aspirations of Muslim women, children and their families.
Aims to stop the scandal of forced marriage and honour-based violence.
0800 5999 247
Forced Marriage Unit
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides information about forced marriage and can intervene to make you safe.
0207 008 0151
People don’t realise that men can also find themselves in this situation. It was hard seeking help, because I felt that no one would believe me... but picking up the phone was the best thing I did.