It is very important to differentiate between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage.
An arranged marriage has the consent of both parties and is entered into freely. The family of the bride and groom takes a lead role in the arrangements of the wedding and is a practice that has worked successfully in many cultures for many years.
A forced marriage is where one or both of the parties do not or cannot consent to the marriage. Often a physical, psychological, financial, sexual or emotional pressure will be used to coerce one, or both parties, into the marriage.
If you wish to leave a marriage that you gave consent to (an arranged marriage) you need to speak to a solicitor and make an application for divorce proceedings. If there are issues surrounding the divorce of a criminal nature, they will be investigated by the police.
If there are other welfare issues surrounding the divorce, the police will support, advise and signpost you to other groups and agencies that may assist with accommodation, making application for benefits, assist with immigration matters and any other welfare issues.
For further information please see links to websites in related information.
Forced Marriage Unit
You can contact the Forced Marriage Unit for help and advice on leaving a marriage you have been forced in to. A trained professional can give you specialist advice:
Telephone: 020 7008 0151
From overseas: +44 (0)20 7008 0151
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Out of hours: 020 7008 5000
- UK Asian Women's Centre Tel: 0121 523 4910
- Bharosa Asian Women's Help Line Tel: 0121 303 0368
- Birmingham/Solihull Women's Aid Helpline and Refuge referrals Tel: 0800 0732606 (calls from all areas welcome)
- Women's Aide National help line Tel: 0808 2000 247
- Jyoti Ashram Housing Department for Asian women Tel: 0845 1306110