Forced Marriage – advice for young people

A forced marriage is one that is carried out without the consent of both people. This is very different to an arranged marriage, which both people will have agreed to. There is no religion that says it is right to force you into a marriage and you are not betraying your faith by refusing such a marriage.

Arranged marriages are a cultural tradition for many people, but forced marriages are an abuse of human rights. In some cases an arranged marriage can lead to a forced marriage. For example, if you agree to marry someone but then change your mind and decide not to. If your parents or family don’t accept your decision and still make you go ahead with the marriage, this becomes a forced marriage.

It can be difficult to know what to do if you are being forced to marry or you are worried that a friend or sibling is. There are adults who can help so it is important to tell someone you trust so they can take steps to protect you or the person you are worried about.

If possible speak to a trusted adult such as a teacher, police officer or youth worker.  You can also speak to a social worker who will listen to your concerns and work with other professionals to keep you safe.  Contact children’s social care on 0161 234 5001

If you do not want to speak to someone you know, you can contact ChildLine for help by calling 0800 1111 or visiting their website www.childline.org.uk/

Or call Karma Nirvana for support and advice on their Honour Network Helpline 0800 5999 247 or visit thier website www.karmanirvana.org.uk/

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