Stand Together Network

Our Campaign against Forced Marriage

“Our visions are world free of violence against women, a better quality of life and safe place for women all over the world.” Forced marriage is a crime.

 

 

Do you know someone who is facing or being affected by Forced Marriage or Honour Based Abuse? No one has the right has the right to deny you freedom.

  • We support victims of honour-based abuse or forced marriage
    If you or someone you know is being forced into a marriage, or at risk of forced marriage and needs help and advice, and support, contact us on 02088870155. If in immediate danger call the police on 999. Call us we never talk to your family.
  • Forced marriage is abuse, it is also an emotional manipulation, control, shame, physical abuse. It destroys lives.
  • Forced marriage and honour-based violence is part of the spectrum of violence against women and girls (VAWG)

 

 

 

 

Forced Marriage is illegal

Force marriage offences Forced marriage is illegal in England and Wales. This includes:

*Taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)

*Marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)

*Forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

Forcing someone to marry isn’t always physical, but it is always against the law.

 

 

Forced marriage and honour-based violence is part of the spectrum of violence against women and girls (VAWG). No one has the right to control you or to deny you freedom. It is your right to choose who you marry. Forced marriage is against the UK Law, it is a criminal offence.

Forced marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry (for example, threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g., if you’re made to feel like you’re bringing shame on your family).

Forced Marriage transcends more than one culture and is prevalent all over the world including the UK.

Forced marriage transcends many cultures, religions, class, gender and sexuality and can result in false imprisonment, kidnapping, threats of violence, blackmail, rape, assault, domestic violence and so called ‘honour’ based abuse. It is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and children, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.

The pressure that is put on people to marry can take different forms:

Physical: including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence

Emotional and psychological: for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family

Financial abuse: including taking away their wages or not giving them any money

To control unwanted behaviour and sexuality, and prevent ‘unsuitable’ relationships, i.e., with people outside their ethnic, cultural, caste or religious group. To protect perceived cultural or religious ideals. Family ‘honour’ or long-standing family commitments. Peer group or family pressure.

Women’s experience of abuse often does not end with the pressure to marry. Many women are also subjected to different forms of abuse within the context of their marriage. This can range from emotional, psychological and financial abuse to sexual and physical violence.

It may affect girls, boys, women and men from any community or background. However, existing statistics show that greater numbers of women are affected. Forcing someone to marry without their consent is a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is seven years imprisonment.

Force marriage offences

Forced marriage is illegal in England and Wales. This includes:

taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)

marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not) forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

 

Forced marriage is abuse, it is also an emotional manipulation, control, shame, physical abuse. It destroys lives.

Forcing someone to marry isn’t always physical, but it is always against the law.

No one has the right to control you or to deny you freedom.

It is your right to choose who you marry.

Forced marriage is against the UK Law, it is a criminal offence.

Annually in the UK there are average of 1,359 cases received of forced marriage

It is not part of any religion, culture or tradition

An arranged marriage is NOT the same as a forced marriage.

In an arranged marriage, both parties consent and are free to choose whether they enter a marriage or not, with parents respecting their wishes

Forced marriages can happen for a number of reasons, including:

*The family doesn’t approve of their child’s sexuality

*The family doesn’t approve of their child’s existing relationship or don’t want them to have a relationship

*To help family claims for citizenship or residency

*To maintain a family’s reputation or honour

*The family think it’s important as part of their culture or religion

*Financial gain or to make sure the family’s wealth stays within the family

*The family feel pressured by other family members to follow traditions

*To honour a long-standing family commitment

*To control unwanted behaviour

*To reduce the stigma of a disability

*This list of reasons is not exhaustive and there are many other reasons why children and other individuals are forced into marriage. None of these reasons are ok and no one should be forced into marrying someone.

Who to contact if you are at risk

Raising a concern can be a scary thing to do, but there are ways that you can be protected. School holidays are often an ideal time for forced marriages to take place, as unfortunately a lot of the time an individual believes that they are going on a holiday and are not aware of what is going to happen if they are taken out of the country.

If you or anyone you know think they are at risk of being forced into a marriage, it’s important that you tell a trusted adult such as a teacher, school nurse or GP as soon as possible.

If you can’t talk to a trusted adult, you can still access support for your concerns, via Chat Health, Childline, or your local police on 101. In an emergency, you must call the police on 999.

There are a number of services and charities that you can access for confidential support, help and advice if you have any concerns:

The Forced Marriage Unit: Offers support to any individual within the UK regardless of nationality. They also provide support and advice to professionals. 0207 008 0151: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

0207 008 1500: Global Response Centre (out of hours)Email:- FMU@fco.gov.uk

British Transport Police: you can report concerns to the transport police if it is not an emergency by calling 0800 405 040 or texting 61016

The Freedom Charity: fights to stop forced marriage and helps to protect young people from harm.

24 hour help line: 0845 607 0133

Text 4freedom to 88802

Freedom app available in the app store

Facebook- The Freedom Charity

Twitter- The Freedom Charity

Halo Project: a charity helping victims of honour based violence, forced marriage and FGM.

01642 683045 or 0808 1788 424

Facebook- Halo Project

Twitter- Halo Project

Karma Nirvana: a charity helping victims of honour based violence, forced marriage, and offers advice and support.

0800 599 9247- Monday to Friday 9am- 5pm

Email:- info@karmanirvana.org.ukFacebook- Karma Nirvana

Twitter- Karma Nirvana

REMEMBER in an emergency, call 999

 

 

 

If you are worried that a family member or someone else is taking you out of the country where you will be forced into marriage it is important that you seek help. You can contact services like Childline or the Forced Marriage Unit for advice if you are concerned. There are a number of things that can be done to help protect you. Leave as many details with a trusted friend, adult or the Forced Marriage Unit as possible including:

Name and date of birth as shown on passport

Passport number (with date and place of issue)

Overseas contact details and address of where you’ll be staying

Number of secret mobile taken overseas

Address and telephone number (including mobile) in the UK

A recent photograph

Contact details of a trusted third party in the UK

Parents’ names and address(es)

Departure and expected return date (copies of tickets if possible)

Names of those you are travelling with

Names of family members remaining in the UK

Any other useful information such as any secret code words

Apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order- this is a legal document that can stop you being taken out of the country and can also help to bring you back to the UK if you have been taken out of the country

Speak to security staff at the airport that you are traveling from. Many airport bathrooms have posters in the toilets offering help and support with advice on what to do. Placing a metal spoon in your underwear can also alert airport staff, however this is not always recommended if you’re under the age of 17 as an adult will have to advocate for you

Have contact information for the forced marriage unit of the British Embassy in case you need help whilst abroad

REMEMBER: NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO FORCE YOU INTO A MARRIAGE. HELP IS AVAILABLE

STN is a black and minority (BME) led women’s organisation that offers specialist support around forced marriage, violence against women and girls, and related issues. We have a wealth of expertise in dealing with issues such as forced marriage and domestic violence. Our staff are familiar with many of the concerns that women may have including fears for safety, feelings of general emotional distress, health issues, financial issues, as well as anxieties about the future.

We provide you with confidential, offer various services including finding a safe place to stay (called a refuge), someone to talk to advocate on your behalf and someone who understands what you may be going through.

* We are offering Face to face advocacy and support for victims and survivors of Forced marriage and honour-based abuse and forced marriage.

*Raising awareness workshops for individual or professionals in-person or online.

* Confidential and Non-judgemental and victim- centred approach

* We provide an emotional support using an empathic, non-judgmental, victim focussed approach.

* Experts recognise the risks of these issues and can assess accordingly.

* Assistance accessing relevant services/organisations using a multi-agency approach with both voluntary and statutory organisations.

* Someone who can speak to professionals on the victim/survivor’s behalf when they feel they cannot themselves.

* A professional who can advocate professionals in order to ensure specific risks are understood and handled correctly in accordance with the statutory guidelines.

*Victim support when working with professionals.

*Multi-agency partnership working.

*Risk assessment of Honour Based Abuse.

 

If you need help to find out more about the services or training programs’ booking or you are looking for further information, please contact us, we are happy to assist you.

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