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Frequently Asked Questions

 FM

 Being forced into a marriage is wrong. We all have the right to choose our own partner.

 Frequently Asked Questions

 I’m being forced to get married. What do I do?

Contact police and voluntary organisations  and they will guide you

 I know someone who’s being forced to get married tomorrow.

Call the police immediately.

 I’m going abroad for a holiday and am scared I might be forced to marry there.

Give your passport and travel details to a friend and ask them to contact the British embassy and Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) in case you don’t come back. Keep regular contact with someone in the UK so they know you’re safe. If you’re worried, set up a code word with a trusted friend, so you can alert them to start proceedings if you become unsafe.

 FEAR OF BEING FORCED INTO A MARRIAGE OR I’VE BEEN FORCED INTO MARRIAGE

 FAQ / Common concerns:

 I’m being forced to get married. What do I do? Or how can I help someone else?

Contact police and voluntary organisations  and they will guide you.

 I am worried that I will be Forced to Marry, what options are available?

You can apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) or if possible could you move to a safe place. A safe refuge, for example.

 I’m in a Forced Marriage, who can help me?

There are specialist organisations that can help you, as well as the police and social workers.

 Can you still help me if I’m under 16?

Yes we can:  

  • You can contact Social Work within the local authority area in which you live (contact details for social work will be on the local authority  internet pages)  who will be able to offer you help and support
  • Specialist support/voluntary organisations will be able to help
  • You can contact the police who will be able to help you
  • You can call the Forced Marriage Unit Helpline on 020 7008  0151 (9am to 5pm)
  • You can telephone the Scottish Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234

 What happens when I call the helpline?

An experienced caseworker will listen to you and offer you confidential support. You can discuss what options are available and get information about your rights and other support services. We will not contact your family.

What is a Forced Marriage Protection Order(FMPO)?

It’s a court order which protects an individual from being forced (coerced) into a marriage they do not or cannot consent to. Breaching a forced marriage protection order is a criminal offence.

How long will a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) last?

An FMPO will last as long as required. The court can order that the FMPO remains in force for a specified period of time, or no time can be set. If the FMPO is not time-limited, it will remain in force until the court recalls it.

 My family is putting pressure on me emotionally to get married. I’m very young and don’t want to get married.

Parents and families sometimes try to get you to change your mind, by using emotional blackmail. But you have rights and the law will protect you.  No one can be forced into a marriage they don’t want.

 I don’t want to leave my family? What can I do?

A FMPO can be taken out which will protect you from being forced into marriage. This means you can stay at home and will only be removed from your family if they breach the FMPO.

 How can you make sure I’m safe?

We can’t guarantee your safety. You should always call the police if you’re in immediate danger. But we can put you in contact with organisations whose job it is to help protect you. Refuges can provide you with somewhere safe to stay if you choose to leave home.

 What will happen to my parents or family who are forcing me to get married?

If they comply with the FMPO no action will be taken. However, if they breach the FMPO it’s considered a criminal offence. They can be fined or even put in prison.

 I can’t afford to leave home. How is being homeless, with no money, better than a forced marriage?

Housing services are available for men and women. These are safe environments where you can get emotional help, such as counselling, as well as help with sorting out benefits and more permanent housing.

 If I talk to my teacher will they tell my parents if I speak to him/her?

You should be able to talk to a teacher in confidence. You can ask that they don’t contact anyone at home and request to be referred to a specialist organisation.

 If I leave home, how will I look after myself? I have no money, where will I live?

Specialist organisations  will help find you find a safe place to live and apply for benefits.

 How can I annul my marriage?

In Scotland, there are different legal requirements for bringing about annulment. A Scottish family law practitioner will be able to help you.

 FORCED MARRIAGE ABROAD

 I’m going abroad for a holiday and am scared I might be forced to marry there.

Give your passport and travel details to a friend and ask them to contact the British embassy and Forced Marriage Unit  in case you don’t come back. Keep regular contact with someone in the UK so they know you’re safe. If you’re worried, set up a code word with a friend, so you can alert them to start proceedings if you become unsafe.

 I know someone who’s in danger of being forced to get married against her wishes, but she’s not in the UK. Her parents have taken her abroad under false pretences.

Contact the British embassy and Forced Marriage Unit . Or voluntary organisations  who will tell you what to do next.

  I have been forced into a marriage abroad, and don’t want to sponsor my husband to the UK.

The Forced Marriage Unit will be able to help you.

  If I leave my husband while abroad how long will it take before I can come back to the UK? And where will I stay while arrangements are being made?

The Forced Marriage Protection Unit will try to make arrangements for you to come back as soon as possible. But if you do have to stay abroad for any length of time, they will  always try to find you a suitable place to stay.

 What happens if I’m abroad and manage to run away, but I don’t have enough money to fly home?

If you haven’t got the money, and you can’t borrow it from a friend or relative, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office  may be able to loan you it.

 How can I help someone who is stuck abroad after being forced into a marriage?

Contact the local British embassy and Forced Marriage Unit.

 If I’m abroad, what will happen if I don’t have my passport?

Provided you’re a British national, the Forced Marriage Protection Unit (LINK) can issue you with an emergency passport.

 I got married overseas. Is my marriage valid in the UK?

In many cases, if your marriage is seen as valid in the country where it took place, it will be valid here in the UK. The best thing to do is talk to a solicitor. It might depend on whether you had a religious or civil marriage. Religious divorce is not valid in the UK.

 Friend/Relative/Carer who is concerned about someone in or being forced to marry

 I know someone who’s being forced to get married tomorrow.

Call the police immediately.

 How can I help someone who is stuck abroad after being forced into a marriage?

Contact the local British embassy and Forced Marriage Unit.

I have a friend who’s off school. I’m worried she might’ve been forced into marriage or taken abroad to get married.

Tell a teacher. They will help you. Specialist organisations can also help. They understand what she’s going through and can provide temporary refuge as well as practical help with things like benefits.

I care for a young person who has a learning disability and I fear that her parents are planning a holiday abroad to get her married off. She doesn’t have the capacity to make her own decisions.

Contact social work as soon as possible.

I know someone who’s in danger of being forced to get married against her wishes, but she’s not in the UK. Her parents have taken her abroad under false pretences.

Contact the British embassy and Forced Marriage Unit.  Or specialisist organisations  who will tell you what to do next.

 

FORCED MARRIAGE SCOTLAND

What is Forced Marriage

Your Rights

Taking the Next Step

You are not alone

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

Forced Marriage Learning Resource

Forced Marriage Information Posters and Leaflets