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Honour based and Forced Marriage

“Honour” based violence or abuse and “honour” killings are a form of violence against women and girls predominantly from the Middle East and South East Asia.

“Honour” works to restrict women’s autonomy, particularly sexual autonomy within male-dominated societies which place a high value on women’s chastity. Within “honour” crimes, families may collaborate to commit violence against a relative who is thought to have violated the restrictions around female behaviour. Such violations might include dress or make-up which is not approved by the family, resisting an arranged marriage, seeking divorce, reporting domestic violence and some so-called offences may appear trivial. (IKWRO)

Forced marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry (e.g. 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). Women and men can be at risk of forced marriage.

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)

If you’re trying to stop a forced marriage or you need help leaving a marriage you’ve been forced into please see our get help now pages for advice on local and national services who can help you.

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