Arranged or forced marriage

Page written and resources collated by Anna Hayman, Wellbeing Practitioner

Forced marriage is when you are married against your will or where you are bullied or threatened into agreeing to marry. The government describes it as “a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure”.

Forced marriage is different from an arranged marriage. In an arranged marriage your family takes a lead in introducing your future husband or wife, but you choose whether or not you want to marry them.

If your family is forcing you into a marriage you don’t want, and are prepared to threaten or hurt you, then this is sometimes called ‘honour’-based violence.

Please note that whilst we hope that all of the resources below are useful, the Student Wellbeing Service does not endorse the opinions expressed by other parties.

Places to get help

Local and national organisations, websites

Relevant Wellbeing Areas

Relevant Self-help Pages

Resource Description
Karma Nirvana Karma Nirvana is an award-winning national charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. Tel: 0800 599 99247
Ashiana Sheffield Work with Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) adults, children and young people fleeing domestic and sexual abuse including forced marriage, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, gang violence and ‘honour’ based violence.
Tel: 0114 255 5740
The Domestic Abuse Helpline The Domestic Abuse Helpline can offer advice and information if you are at risk of Forced Marriage. It is a Sheffield based service which can provide risk assessment, advice and information as well as safety planning. Contact
Tel: 0808 808 2241
The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is a joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office unit which leads on the government’s forced marriage policy, outreach and casework. It operates both inside the UK (where support is provided to any individual) and overseas (where consular assistance is provided to British nationals, including dual nationals).
The FMU operates a public helpline to provide advice and support to victims of forced marriage as well as to professionals dealing with cases. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7008 0151