Forced Marriage


Forced marriage is illegal so families need to try to keep it a secret. It can happen without anybody knowing and is often planned by trusted parents or religious leaders. It can often involve physical, sexual or emotional abuse for the victim.

Are you being forced into a marriage?

Are you worried that you will let your family down if you refuse an arranged marriage?

Do you fear you may bring shame on your family?

Or you think you could be a victim of honour-based violence -then please contact us.

What you should know about forced marriage:

  • It is illegal here in the UK

  • It is very different from an arranged marriage where the people taking part always have a choice about who they get married 

  • If you are worried that your life may be in danger call 999

  • Jaikara is also able to offer you information and support and refer you to other organisations who can help.

  • Every person has the right to choose who they marry, when it happens or if you even want to get married or not

What to do if you are being forced into a marriage:

Remember that if you feel as if you are  being forced into marrying someone who you do not wish to marry, that this is wrong and illegal. It may feel as if  you have no control at this time, but you do.  

It is often the case that parents or family members force people to marry as they believe it will be the the best thing for you. This still does not make it okay if it against your wishes and we can get you the help that you need to stop this from happening.

You may love the people trying to force you into marriage. Often people are told that they will be bringing shame on the family if They do not marry. You may be told that you will be disowned by your family. This is emotional abuse.


If this is happening to you, it is important to let someone know as soon as you can so that you get the help that you need. Jaikara partners with local women's organisations to support you in getting the help that you need. Click the link for further information about 24 hour support.

Honour based violence

The UK Government says "'Honour based violence' is a crime or incident which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community."

It is a range of activities used to control behaviour within families to protect cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour.


It can be distinguished from other types of domestic violence, as it is usually committed with the approval from family and/or community members.

Honour based violence is present in all cultures, faith groups and communities, Relatives can conspire, or participate in honour based abuse, for all sort of meaningless reasons.

Are you a victim of honour based violence? Do you feel threatened when you attempt to:

  • Marry a person of your own choice

  • Start a new relationship

  • Divorce your partner

  • Have interfaith relationships outside a specified religion

  • Have sex before marriage

  • Talk freely with men who are friends

  • Become pregnant outside of marriage

  • Access higher education without approval of your family

What to do if you are a victim of honour based violence:

If you are victim of ‘honour’-based violence or forced marriage please contact: 


Forced Marriage Unit on +44 (0) 20 7008 0151 or



Call us on our emergency helpline

Jaikara is here to support you, no matter what you are worried about.

Call us on 03301 331100, or fill in our online referral form.