A forced marriage takes place when the bride, groom or both do not want to get married but are forced to by others. People forced into marriage may be tricked into going abroad, physically threatened and/or emotionally blackmailed to do so. It can affect women and men as well as girls and boys from any community or background.
Forced marriage is wrong and cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis. If someone is forcing a person to marry against their will in the UK or abroad they may be breaking the law.
The following information may be of use if this is happening to you or someone you know.
In all cases try to obtain National Insurance numbers, passport numbers and, where relevant, details of travel dates and flight numbers. Leave these details with a trustworthy person if you can.
Forced marriage in the UK
Contact your local Community Safety Department/Minorities Team (TBC) for advice.
Lancashire Constabulary Community Safety/Minorities Teams (TBC)
Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale 01282 472190
Blackburn and Darwen 01254 353638
Ribble Valley and Hyndburn 01254 353718
Chorley, Sth Ribble and West Lancs 01257 515332
Preston, Lea and Fulwood 01772 209110
Blackpool and Fylde 01253 607242
Lancaster and Wyre 01995 607870
You can also contact:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Forced Marriage Unit
London 0207 008 0151
Greater Manchester Police 0161 872 5050
(This number should ONLY be called either at or en-route to Manchester Airport. It is NOT to be called for general advice or enquiries).
Forced marriage overseas
If you think that you or someone known to you is being taken out of the country for a forced marriage find out where the nearest embassy is and keep the phone number with you at all times. To do this contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Forced Marriage Unit on 0207 088 0151 or visit www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/find-an-embassy
Airports UK and Overseas
Help and advice is available at airports in the UK. Try to make an airport official aware that either you or someone known to you is being taken out of the country against their will.
If you are at an airport overseas try to bring the situation to the attention of an airport official. It is of the utmost importance that this is done as soon as possible, prior to immigration/entry clearance.
N.B. Airport officials are becoming increasingly aware of forced marriage. Any intervention will be carried out with the greatest discretion.