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Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence

What is a forced marriage?

A forced marriage is a marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of both parties.

In a forced marriage, you are coerced into marrying someone against your will. You may be physically threatened or emotionally blackmailed to do so, or you may be a victim of psychological abuse. Forced marriage cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis.

Forced marriages are not the same as arranged marriages, where you can choose whether to accept the arrangement or not. In an arranged marriage, families take the lead in selecting a marriage partner but the couple has the free will and choice to accept or decline the arrangement. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and countries for a very long time.

Information sheet on Forced Marriage

What is a Forced Marriage?

What is a Forced Marriage (LGBT)?

Forced Marriage Survivors Handbook.

Free training on Forced Marriage



If you think someone is being subject to a forced marriage please contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, or 999 if it is an emergency.

What is Honour Based Violence?

Honour based violence is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family or community.

It is often linked to family members or acquaintances who mistakenly believe someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of their culture. For example, honour based violence might be committed against people who:

  • become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion
  • want to get out of an arranged marriage
  • want to get out of a forced marriage
  • wear clothes or take part in activities that might not be considered traditional within a particular culture

Women and girls are the most common victims of honour based violence however it can also affect men and boys. Crimes of ‘honour’ do not always include violence. Crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’ might include:

  • domestic abuse
  • threats of violence
  • sexual or psychological abuse
  • forced marriage
  • being held against your will or taken somewhere you don’t want to go
  • assault

What to do?

You do not have to wait for a crime to be committed to talk to the police about your concerns. They are here to help you and make you safe even if nothing ‘criminal’ has happened yet. No instances of honour based violence are too minor to report. It affects the whole community, not just those involved or victimised directly.

If you have been a victim of honour based violence, or know someone else who has been affected by it, there's help and support available. 

List of Support Agencies

If you think someone is being subject to honour based violence please contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, or 999 if it is an emergency.
Safeguarding Children Click here to access the Safeguarding Children Board