It is very important to differentiate between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage. An arranged marriage is an agreement between both parties, entered into freely and is a practice that has worked successfully in many cultures for many years. A forced marriage is where one or both of the parties has not agreed to marry and has been forced to do so against their own free will.
Forced marriage is primarily, but not exclusively, an issue of violence against women. Most cases involve young women and girls aged between 13 and 30 years, although there is evidence to suggest that as many as 15 per cent of victims are male.
The issue of forced marriage should not be used to stigmatise any community. Some forced marriages take place in the UK with no oversees element, whilst others involve a partner coming from overseas or a British Citizen being sent abroad.
On June 16, 2014, new legislation became effective under the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to make forcing someone to marry a criminal offence.
(1) A person commits an offence under the law of England and Wales if he or she
(a) uses violence, threats or any other form of coercion for the purpose of causing another person to enter into a marriage, and;
(b) believes, or ought reasonably to believe, that the conduct may cause the other person to enter into the marriage without free and full consent.
Other provisions include making the use of a deception in order to entice someone abroad so that they can be married against their will an offence, making breach of a Forced Marriage Protection Order (currently a civil order and civil breach) a criminal offence and giving protection to those lacking mental capacity to make an informed decision about whether to marry or not.
How to report a forced marriage
You do not have to be the victim to report a forced marriage. You may be a friend or relative, for example.
You will need to provide the police with as much detail as possible such as the name, date of birth and address of the victim, as much detail as possible about the family and any possible travel dates and destinations.
In an emergency, always dial 999.
Call our central number, 101
Visit your local police enquiry office
If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired , read more about the contact services we can offer you
You can also contact the Forced Marriage Unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London (Advice and support for those in fear of being taken abroad for the purposes of forced marriage - across Great Britain) on 0207 008 0230
Below are details of other organisations who will be able to offer help and support. You will see from the explanations that some are national organisations, some operate across Derbyshire and others operate only within Derby itself.
Telephone: 0800 555 111
Derby City Advocate Service
Derbyshire County Council Advocate Service
Based in Derby providing information and support for male and female victims of forced marriage and 'honour-based' violence.
Telephone: 0800 5999 247
Web site: www.karmanirvana.org.uk
The Home Office Forced Marriage Unit
This has extensive information and help available at: www.gov.uk/forced-marriage
Deaf or hard of hearing contacts
Mobile Text Phone
Can anyone tell I've visited these web pages?
If you are worried about someone knowing which web sites you have visited, you can take several steps to increase your safety when using the internet. The Victim Support site provides a practical guide to safe web site usage .
The only certain way to prevent anyone finding out which web pages you have been viewing is to use a computer they do not have access to; this could be at a local library, a friend's house, or an internet cafe.
The ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) definition of honour-based violence is:
“A crime or incident, which has or may have been committed, to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.”
Harming or threatening others with violence is wrong. Some people seek to justify this behaviour by claiming there is some form of ‘honour’ involved. This could not be further from the truth and there is simply no honour in threatening or harming others.
Both men and woman can be a victim of this crime, often at the hands of their families and communities. There is no cultural or religious basis or justification for this violence.
Derbyshire police take reports of these crimes very seriously and will do all it can to protect and support those suffering from these issues.
If you or someone you know is suffering from so called “honour” abuse please contact Derbyshire Constabulary or one of the supporting agencies listed on this page.
Warning signs of honour abuse
- School: Lengthy or repeated absence, decline in academic performance, being withdrawn
- Health: Depression, anxiety, self-harm, substance misuse, suicidal thoughts
- Work: Poor attendance, drop in performance, does not attend business trips or functions
- Social: Restrictions on friends, disapproval of adopting “western” clothing and make-up.
Awareness and Creative Art Competition
To promote awareness of forced marriage and honour abuse, we are encouraging 11-18-year-olds to come up with a creative piece of art that either depicts forced marriages/honour-based violence from their perspective or promotes a peaceful solution against such crimes.
If you fall in that age range, you could compose a song, write a poem, produce a film or create a sculpture. The choice is yours. Either work on your own or as a team. The best three entries will recieve Intu vouchers to spend at the Derby-based shopping centre.
For information and rules of entry, please see the attachments on the right-hand-side of this page.
Privacy and confidentiality
In conjunction with other organisations, the police will work to find you secure accommodation, out of the district you currently live in, and will also have contacts who will be able to help you in the long term. You will be able to obtain assistance with long-term accommodation, advice on income possibilities and issues regarding personal safety.
We are aware of the confidentiality issues related to this problem and will not divulge any information about your visit, conversations or in fact any of your dealings with the police or any other organisations, to anyone, without your express permission.