Forced Marriage

What is Forced marriage?

A forced marriage is a marriage conducted without the full and valid consent of both parties and where duress is a factor. This may include physical, psychological and emotional abuse to force a child, young person or an adult to comply with the marriage.

Forced marriage is an abuse of human rights and a form of domestic abuse. Where it affects children and young people it is child abuse and it can never be justified on religious or cultural grounds.

There is a clear distinction must be made between forced marriage and arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in choosing the marriage partner, but the choice whether or not to accept the arrangements remains with the individual. Consent must be from both parties.

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014) makes it a criminal offence to force someone to marry.

What should I do if I have concerns about forced marriage?

If you are concerned about forced marriage you can find more information in the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Procedures.

Always discuss your concerns with the senior person in your organisation who is responsible for safeguarding and child protection.

If you are a young person, parent or carer, you can contact Children's Social Care to discuss your concerns.

If there are concerns about forced marriage, you should also consider whether there are also concerns about Domestic Abuse,so-called honour-based abuseor violence and / or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

What else is happening in Derby and Derbyshire to address forced marriage?

Further information about what is happening in Derby and Derbyshire and how partner agencies  are working to combat domestic abuse, including forced marriage can be seen on the Derby City Council website and Derbyshire County Council website.


National Sources of Support

Karma Nirvana is a national organisation providing support for male and female victims of forced marriage and honour based violence.  

Karma Nirvana provide a dedicated helpline, not only for victims, but for professionals in need of guidance. All call-handlers have experience in risk assessing cases of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse.

The helpline telephone number is 0800 5999 247 

A Survivor Ambassador website provides vital first-person insight on issues of forced marriage and honour-based abuse though a growing community of Survivor Ambassadors benefiting greatly from stories, practical advice and emotional support.



The DDSCP training programme includes further details of multi-agency training on domestic abuse, including forced marriage.

Resources for Schools

A locally produced film about forced marriage which can be used to raise staff awareness of the issues and also with students in year 9 and over is available for use in Schools and other settings. For more information and to request a copy please email