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A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure.

A forced marriage is when the bride, groom or both are forced into marrying against their will, usually by their families.

Men or women may be tricked into going abroad on a ‘family holiday’ and may be subjected to physical, psychological, emotional, financial or sexual pressure until they ‘agree’ to the marriage.  Victims may be imprisoned and threatened with abandonment by their families if they resist the marriage.

Forced marriage is always an abuse of human rights and cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis. A new Law criminalising forced marriage came into force in June 2014.  Under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, forcing someone into marriage in England and Wales can carry a 7-year imprisonment.  The change also criminalises forcing a British national into marriage outside the UK.

Motives for a forced marriage:

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