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 has 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.

If you think someone is being subject to a forced marriage please contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, or 999 if it is an emergency.