This section explains what forced marriage is, and describes the help that is available to people who are or may become victims of forced marriage.
What is a forced marriage?
A forced marriage is a marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of both parties.
In a forced marriage, you are coerced into marrying someone against your will. You may be physically threatened or emotionally blackmailed to do so, or you may be a victim of psychological abuse. Forced marriage cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis.
Forced marriages are not the same as arranged marriages, where you can choose whether to accept the arrangement or not. In an arranged marriage, families take the lead in selecting a marriage partner but the couple have the free will and choice to accept or decline the arrangement. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and countries for a very long time.
The menu on the left lists some sources of help for victims of forced marriage.