Forced marriage is illegal, it can happen in secret and can also be planned by parents, family or religious leaders. It may involve physical abuse, sexual abuse or emotional abuse. Everyone has the right to choose who you marry, when you marry or if you marry at all. Forced marriage is not the same as arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage, people always have a choice about whether they get married or not. The Department for Education has provided information on the Age of marriage and forced marriage in England and Wales
Please view this 7 Minute briefing forced marriage to understand more about forced marriage and be aware of the signs which can include:
- Change in behavior
- Deterioration in mental health
- Unexpected deterioration in usual behaviors
- Running away from home
- Be aware of the time of year. Risks associated with forced marriage can be increased at certain times of the year such as school holidays.
What you can do?
If you are worried about someone who is at risk of forced marriage you must share this information with Rochdale Social Services or the police.
- If you are concerned about a child, please call 0300 303 0350.
- If you are concerned about an adult at risk, please call 0300 303 8886
- Out of office hours please contact 0300 303 8875
- If you feel the person is in immediate danger please contact the police on 999
Karma Nirvana also provide a UK Helpline 0800 5999247 and information for both members of the public and professionals. They also promote awareness campaigns such as A Spoonful of Hope