Forced marriage - information for professionals

Forced marriage is when someone faces physical or emotional pressure to marry a partner they have not chosen themselves.

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)
  • forcing someone to marry can result in a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

If someone you know is at risk or if you know someone who's been taken abroad to be forced into marriage, you should contact the national Forced Marriage Unit.

Derbyshire Constabulary is taking a victim-led approach, as described in the forced marriage is a crime document, which also offers advice and contact numbers for support.

Download the safeguarding children board procedure in relation to forced marriage to learn how we deal with this issue.