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Forced Marriage Guidance

What forced marriage is
You have the right to choose who you marry, when you marry or if you marry at all.
Forced marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry (eg threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (eg if you’re made to feel like you’re bringing shame on your family).

Force marriage offences
Forced marriage is illegal in England and Wales. This includes: 

  • taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place) 
  • marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)

Click on the link to view the SCB Forced Marriage procedure D07

Revised practice guidelines on handling forced marriage were published in June 2009. The practice guidelines have been designed to provide step-by-step advice to frontline workers and have been produced to complement the statutory guidance that came into force with the launch of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act) in November 2008. This sets out the broader strategic responsibilities of Chief Executives and senior managers in tackling forced marriage locally. Click on this link to view the guidelines.

The forced marriage multi-agency guidelines cover:

  • the responsibilities and obligations of different agencies working with victims;
  • information on protecting, advising and supporting victims;
  • information on making referrals to other agencies and where to turn to for help; and
  • and although forced marriage is primarily an issue of violence against women, the guidelines provide advice and information for practitioners assisting both male and female victims of forced marriage.

A joint Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent SCB Briefing Paper on Forced Marriage can be found on the SCB Procedure pages, Section D.  (Click on the link to view).

For Governement information and practice guidelines for professionals protecting, advising and supporting victims click on the link.

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