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 (GOV.UK, 2016).
Forced marriage is an abuse of human rights and cannot be justified culturally or religiously. However, it continues to be practiced today within many countries worldwide.
Forced marriage and honour violence is under reported as many victims are too scared to come forward.
- In 2018, the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage in 1,196 cases. This includes contact made to the FMU through the public helpline or by email
- Since 2012, the FMU has provided support to between 1,200 and 1,400 cases per year. While the number of cases in 2017 represents a 19% decrease compared with 2016, it does not represent a decrease in prevalence of forced marriage in the UK
- Of the cases, that FMU provided support to 355 cases (29.7%) involving victims below 18 years of age and 353 cases (29.5%) involving victims aged 18-25
- In 2017, 930 cases (77.8%) involved women and 256 cases (21.4%) involved males.
Advice and support