I was being blackmailed into a forced marriage.
But I got some help and found the courage to say no.
You are not alone
Sadly, forced marriages are still happening to people living in Scotland. So you are not alone in facing this problem.
But remember, you do not have to face this by yourself. Help, advice and support is at hand.
By its very nature, Forced Marriage is a hidden practice. We also know there are many people out there who have not reported their fears or concerns.
Over the period November 2011 to September 2012, 67 calls were made to the Scottish Forced Marriage helpline.
In 2011-12, figures collated through support organisations in Scotland indicated that 59 people were affected by Forced Marriage. It was estimated that 20 per cent of these cases concerned girls and boys under 18.
The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is a joint-initiative with the Home Office. In 2011 there were 1468 instances where the FMU gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage. 66 instances involved those with disabilities (56 with learning disabilities, 8 with physical disabilities and 2 with both), and 10 involved victims who identified themselves as LGBT. Of the 1468 cases, 78 per cent were female and 22 per cent male.
To view films and read accounts of how other people have faced up to the threat or reality of a forced marriage, click on the links
Forced Marriage Unit Information film
Foreign & Commonwealth case study films
Advice, support and protection is available in complete confidence.
Forced Marriage advice line: 0800 027 1234 (Lines are open 24 hours and calls are free)
Men's advice line: 0808 801 0327 (Lines are open Monday – Friday 9am - 5pm.
Calls are free from landlines and from mobiles using the O2, Orange, T Mobile, Three (3), Virgin, and Vodafone networks) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Case study: The family advised the health care team that their son was being married to someone from another country whom he had never met. On enquiry, the family said that this was fine for him because he had a learning disability but she was no longer of child bearing years so it was suitable for them to be together, and that she could take care of him.
Case study: X was 16 and could not stay at home. She was temporarily re-housed in refuge accommodation in England. It was very difficult to arrange this because she was viewed as an adult in Scotland but a child elsewhere in UK (with implications for statutory funding, refuge availability and so on). She had to leave school in Scotland as a result of relocating and, although she continued to receive support from the police and a women’s organisation, she was very isolated. No civil case was pursued. Despite repeated attempts by family and community members/organisations to obtain information, her whereabouts have not been compromised. She remains completely cut off from her family.
Case study: D is 35 and has a learning disability. His marriage came to the attention of social workers after it had taken place. He lives with his mother who is in her 80s and she told his social worker that she wanted him to marry a woman who was coming to visit them from abroad. D said that he did not want to get married but his mother told him that no-one else would look after him when she died. He was extremely anxious about being married as he worried about what being a husband entailed. D’s wife came to the UK to marry him but did not know he had a learning disability and left him two weeks after the marriage. This has had a profound effect on D’s self-esteem as he thinks it was his fault that the marriage was a failure. He has become very withdrawn and will no longer attend the day centre where he had a lot of friends. Social work is not aware of long-term plans for his care because D does not want to engage with them.
FORCED MARRIAGE SCOTLAND
What is Forced Marriage
Taking the Next Step
You are not alone
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Forced Marriage Learning Resource
Forced Marriage Information Posters and Leaflets