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Honour Based Violence


Answer

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.

Useful Numbers

    • 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
    • The Forced Marriage Unit Tel: 020 7008 0151


Answer

Someone who is forced to marry when they don’t want to by others such as parents, families or religious leaders, is forced marriage. Forced marriage is a criminal offence.  Where the person being forced to marry, is under 18 years old, this is also classed as child abuse.   

There are also a number of other offences incorporated into forcing someone to marry, e.g. assault, abduction, false imprisonment and many more. If you believe your life is in immediate danger you must contact your local police in order for them to instigate protection measures and link in with other agencies (health, education social care) that may be able to assist with safeguarding you.

If you are concerned about involving the police in such a sensitive family issue, other support groups and voluntary organisations may still be able to help you (see the contact details below).

You could also apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order which can prevent someone from being forced into a marriage and can assist someone that has already been forced into a marriage. Breach of a Forced Marriage Protection Order is a criminal offence.

For further help and information, please see the websites in Related Information.

Useful Numbers

UK Asian Women's Centre: 0121 523 4910

Bharosa Asian Women's Help Line: 0121 303 0368

Birmingham/Solihull Women's Aid Helpline and Refuge referrals: 0800 0732606

Women's Aid National Help Line: 0808 2000 247

Jyoti Ashram Housing Department for Asian Women: 0845 1306110

The Forced Marriage Unit: 020 7008 0151


Answer

If you believe that you are going to be taken abroad to be forced into a marriage, consider the following, avoid taking the trip if you can and if you cannot then you should contact the police. They will assist with safeguarding measures, the application of a forced marriage protection order, will remove you from an immediate dangerous situation, and protect you in the future.

If you are not able to or it is not safe to contact the police, you should contact a friend you can trust and inform them to contact the police on your behalf and give them the following details : -

  • the airport you are travelling from and to,
  • details of the flight,
  • who you are travelling with,
  • the address of where you are visiting, the relationship of the person you will be visiting,
  • try and keep a mobile discreetly with international coverage, try and keep some money for yourself to use in an emergency,
  • if you have dual nationality, travel on the British passport,
  • details of family or friends in the country who will know exactly where you are going to, how long for, and for what reason,
  • once you have arrived in the foreign country, keep yourself informed as to where you are being taken too, who you are visiting etc,
  • try and keep hold of your personal documents, passport, ticket etc.

These are a few things to consider when you are or fear you going to be taken abroad and forced into marriage. A Forced Marriage Protection Order can assist with repatriation of a victim that has been taken abroad against their will back to the UK. For further help and information, please see the websites in related information.

Useful Numbers

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

Women's Aide National help line Tel: 0808 2000 247

Jyoti Ashram Housing Department for Asian women Tel: 0845 1306110

The Forced Marriage Unit Tel: 020 7008 0151

Contact your local police force

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