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Your Rights


Your rightsForced Marriage

If you or someone you know is in a forced marriage, or living in fear of being forced to marry, then the law is there to protect you.

In November 2011, legislation came into force in Scotland to protect both men and women currently in or under threat of a forced marriage.

The Forced Marriage etc (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Act 2011 was introduced to protect the human rights of people living in Scotland and will ensure that anyone is protected from the threat, harassment or pressure to marry someone they have not consented to.

Under this law, a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) can be taken out to legally prevent anybody from forcing you to marry against your will, or to keep you from harm if a forced marriage has already taken place.

A FMPO is there to protect you and can be adapted to meet the specific needs of your situation.

  • An Order can prevent a Forced Marriage from happening, or provide protective measures when one has taken place.
  • Orders can be tailored to meet the specific needs of an individual. 
  • They may contain restrictions or requirements to stop or change the behaviour of the person who is pressurising someone into marriage.
  • It may also include anyone who is not directly involved but may be helping another person to force someone into marriage.

Keeping you safe is the priority

Reporting a Forced Marriage or the threat of a forced marriage can be very daunting but there are specially trained advisers you can talk to.

If you are concerned about being forced to marry and think that you might need a FMPO there are options available to you;

  • You can apply directly to the court for an order.
  • You can ask a support organisation or your local authority to make an application on your behalf.

An interim order can be given to provide you with immediate protection before a full order is made.

For more information click here or you can call the numbers below.

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)

Rape Crisis Scotland National Helpline: 08088 01 03 02 (Lines are open between 6pm and midnight) or if you are deaf or hard of hearing on minicom number 0141 353 3091


  Safer Scotland logo

Case study:  When L’s father found out about her boyfriend, he was so angry that he cut off her hair.  He told her that having a boyfriend was against their culture.  She would have to marry the man he chose and have a virginity test.  L was so scared that she took an overdose.  Fortunately she recovered in hospital.


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