In June 2014, forced marriages in the UK became a criminal offence. In England and Wales, those who force someone into a marriage against their will can serve up to seven years imprisonment, a consequence that applies whether the forced marriage occurs within the UK or not.

As a definition, a forced marriage is where one or both parties are coerced into the marriage through external pressures, whether physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional. In a nutshell, forced marriages deprive individuals of their freedom of choice, forcing them into a future against their will.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, considers forced marriages ‘a tragedy for every victim’ and recognises that a large number of instances go unreported. Nonetheless, in 2013, the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) supported over 1,300 cases, a large number.

Founder of Freedom charity, Aneeta Prem, sees forced marriage as a form of slavery in which victims are ‘domestic slaves by day and sexual slaves by night’. She hopes that such legal change will emphasise how ‘this indefensible abuse of human rights will not be tolerated’ any longer.

It is important to mention a distinction between an arranged marriage with full consent – a socially acceptable event in many societies – and one brought on by coercion or trickery.

Everyone is at risk of being a victim, no matter their race, age or gender. Statistics from 2013 show that although the majority of victims were female, almost 20% of all cases involved a male victim. Findings also show that forced marriage occurs across the globe, with victims from over 74 countries, 43% relating to Pakistan. Therefore, the law was made to protect Brits all over the world, regardless of whether the forced marriage took place within the UK or not.

Forced marriage, otherwise considered a form of slavery, does not just affect adults. Shocking statistics from the NSPCC show that children as young as 12 called out for help regarding their personal experience of forced marriage. In fact, 15% of all forced marriages involved children.

Previously, the Court was only able to issue Civil Orders to prevent victims being forced into marriage.  However, the recent legal changes have been made to keep Brits protected, encourage victims to speak out and eventually, wipe out forced marriage entirely.

If you have experience of a forced marriage, ensure that you speak out to a professional who can confidential guidance and a safe place to speak out.

Got a question? Ask us now…

Kindly complete the form below to send an enquiry. Your message will be sent to one of our solicitors. Discretion is guaranteed.

Your Information

  • Consider including information such as: the name of your spouse (if relevant), the country you live in, the background to your problem.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Over 2000 FREE
consultations and counting…

Our free consultation can help you more clearly understand the legal issues relating your case and what your options are to move forward.

Request your free consultation

Or send us an enquiry

I had a 30-minute consultation with Samantha Jago where she clearly explained all my options and followed up with a detailed email of notes. I would highly recommend if you need help to clarify where you stand and getting options for how you move forward.

Jun 2024   Katherine Davey

I recently had a one hour pro bono consultation with Samantha Jago. I was really blown away by how much she was able to digest in such a short period of time and even more so by the report which I received shortly after.

Apr 2024   S DF

I had applied for a free consultation and I was contacted in a very short timeframe. Thank you so much for the insightful and thorough consultation, Kevin Danagher. You made me feel at ease and you provided clear expectations with the initial info I had provided... I have now a much better understanding on my query.

Feb 2024   Sonia Accardi

We had a very useful first consultation with Amber Matheson today. Amber took the time to understand our (somewhat complicated) set-up, and offered good, understandable advice on next steps. She followed up with a very thorough email clarifying what we had discussed. Highly recommended.

Feb 2024   Lucie

Lovely friendly experience. All questions were answered so that I understood completely.

Dec 2023   Ali Catlin

Very balanced, fair and pragmatic advice. Thoroughly recommend!!

Nov 2023   James Elliott

Henry graciously provided his time for a consultation. I found him to be highly knowledgeable, empathetic and he provided excellent advice which put my mind at ease. Would highly recommend Henry and his firm.

Oct 2023   Allan Ang

Henry Brookman went above and beyond during the free consultation, and even overran the allocated time. He provided invaluable professional advice in a courteous manner. I recommend his firm without reservation.

Sep 2023   Mario Ignatov

I only had my initial free review with Amelia yet I already feel much more strengthened in my legal and financial position. I am currently reflecting on the steps I want to take to negotiate my desired outcome of the financial settlement but, when I am ready to use the services of a lawyer, Amelia is definitely the top on my list.

Sep 2023   Nahid Toubia

I had a zoom consultation with Lauren Moir and she was incredible. Very patient, insightful and reassuring. She also advised me based on my previous conversations with another firm and also clarified various positions I am in. Highly recommend.

Aug 2023   Gary Hawes

I was very impressed with the friendly, helpful and professional service offered by Brookman Solicitors. The generous advice and knowledge offered during the initial free consultation has enabled us to have a much better understanding of our case and plan a way forward.

Jul 2023   Peter Jackson

I had a first consultation with Kevin, who very diligently and professionally provided an exhaustive overview of the divorce process and the best approach for my specific case.

Jul 2023   Giulia Matteo

Great service and excellent advice at the initial consultation. I would certainly recommend and use in the future.

Jul 2023   Tom James

Google Reviews
Ask A Question

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact us now, we can help you.

Enquire Now

Or call us on +44 (0)20 7430 8470