Forced Marriage

Forced marriage

If you’re seeking to stop a forced marriage or need assistance fleeing a forced marriage, contact the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU).


Forced Marriage Unit

Phone number: 020 7008 0151

+44 (0)20 7008 0151 from outside the UK

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

Outside of business hours: 020 7008 1500 (ask for the Global Response Centre)

Learn about the costs of phone calls.

In an emergency, dial 999.

You will receive free advise on what to do next from a skilled professional.

They can also assist you with:

1. locate a secure location to stay

2. If you’ve been compelled to sponsor someone in the UK, you can cancel their visa.

What is a forced marriage?

You have the option of choosing who you marry, when you marry, and whether or not you marry at all.

Forced marriage occurs when you are under physical or emotional pressure to marry (for example, threats, physical assault, or sexual violence) or when you are made to feel like you are bringing dishonor to your family.

Offences of Force Marriage 

In England and Wales, it is prohibited. This includes the following:

  • Taking someone to another country to compel them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)
  • marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether or not they are under duress).

Forcing someone to marry may result in a seven-year prison sentence.

Orders of protection against forced marriage

They may obtain a forced marriage protection order from the court.

Each order is one-of-a-kind, and it’s made to safeguard you based on your specific circumstances. The court may, for example, order someone to hand over your passport or reveal your location. In the event of an emergency, an order might be issued to protect you right away. 

A term of up to 5 years in jail can be imposed if you disobey a forced marriage protection order.

Foreign forced marriage 

If you believe you are being forced to marry outside of your country, contact the FMU. If you’re already outside the UK, contact the nearest British embassy.

If you know someone who’s in danger, If you know someone who has been taken abroad to be forced into marriage, please get in touch with the FMU.

Give as many details as possible, such as:

  • the location of the person’s departure
  • when they were supposed to return
  • Where and when was the last time you have heard from them

The FMU will make contact with the appropriate embassy.

If they are British nationals, the embassy will attempt to contact them and assist them in returning to the UK if that is their desire.

Victim assistance

Read the guide for survivors of forced marriage. It contains contact information for organizations that can assist and advise you.

If you are a victim of forced marriage in Scotland, you can get help.