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Concerns about a child

Forced marriage

Information about Forced Marriage situations and where to get help and support.

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A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. It is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic and or child abuse [when a child is under 16] and a serious abuse of human rights.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they're bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking your wages or not giving you any money) can also be a factor.

Instances of forced marriage situations:

  • They might be threatened or beaten to make sure they get married.
  • They might be told that they are bringing shame to the family if they don't marry.
  • They may even be taken abroad without knowing they are going to get married and then not allowed to return home.

This is different to arranged marriages where the families take a leading role in choosing the marriage partner and the bride and groom are part of the decision making process. In forced marriages either the bride or groom or possibly both aren't given any choice.

If you are being forced into marriage or you are worried that someone you know is being forced into marriage or may be taken abroad to be forced into marriage then contact the Police. Further information on Forced Marriage is available on the Forced Marriage pages at:

The webpage link above will redirect you to a web page dedicated to Forced Marriage and provides information and links to other relevant webpages.  It also includes 3 short videos which show how to spot the signs of forced marriage and focuses on 3 young people all affected by these issues.

If you are concerned about the welfare or safety of someone who may be at risk of forced marriage please contact your local social work by phoning 0141 577 3001.

You can find out more about Adult Support and Protection and Child Protection in East Renfrewshire at:

New legislation

From 30 September 2014, forcing someone into marriage was made a criminal offence in Scotland.

Forced marriage was made a criminal offence in England and Wales on 16 June 2014, under the same Act.

To view the full Act, open the following document; section 122 relates to forced marriage:


Guidance to accompany the new legislation has been published on the Scottish Government's website. To view both the statutory, and multi-agency practitioner guidance visit:

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