Search

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.

Social Media / Embedded Media cookies

We would like to allow Twitter and Facebook cookies: this will allow the listing of Fife Council tweets and Facebook posts on some of our pages. See our Cookies page for more details. (If you change this setting, you may need to refresh the page to action your preference.)

We would like to allow embedded media cookies: we occasionally display Google maps and embed audio and video in our pages, e.g., using YouTube’s privacy-enhanced mode. See our Cookies page for more details. (If you change this setting, you may need to refresh the page to action your preference.)

All Docs

Forced and child marriages

Saving...

Everyone has a right to enter into marriage with their full and free consent and to make decisions about their lives

New legislation has recently been introduced in Scotland to provide greater protection to victims of forced marriage. If you are in a forced marriage or under the threat of one, support is available across Scotland to help you make a decision that is right for you. It is everyone’s human right to choose their own partner and if a family member or partner uses either emotional or physical pressure to force marriage upon you, then it is an abuse of your basic rights.

What is a forced marriage?

A marriage is forced when one or both of the couple involved are married without their consent or against their will. This is very different from an arranged marriage, where the family of the couple take a leading role in arranging the marriage and the couple consent to the wedding.

Both men and women can be forced into marriage and many are placed under great emotional duress to comply by their parents or people in their community. They believe wrongly, that by refusing to comply with a forced marriage a victim is bringing 'shame' or 'dishonour' to their family or community. For others, consequences are more extreme, with some experiencing physical assault, being held unlawfully captive, having their passport withheld or being threatened by their partner/potential partner or family.  Forced marriage can impact on school-aged children who may not be mature enough to make decisions for themselves. People with disabilities can also find themselves in a forced marriage and others can be threatened with marriage because of their sexual orientation.

Forced marriage causes emotional distress

Family and relationships are very important to communities but if you’re being threatened or blackmailed into marriage, agreeing to it against your will or are being coerced into a relationship, then it is abuse. If you feel this is happening to you, then you are experiencing the threat of forced marriage.

Legislation

In 2014 forced marriage became a criminal offence, providing an additional layer of protection to victims from a practice that is a fundamental breach of human rights. It did not replace the 2011 Forced Marriage Act.

Forced Marriage Protection Orders, which can safeguard your rights and make it a criminal offence to breach the Order. Support agencies and local authorities can help you apply for a Protection Order, so you don’t have to go through the court proceedings yourself.

We have trained advisors who can talk through your options if you, a friend or relative is under the threat of forced marriage, or if you are currently in one. Call the freephone Forced Marriage Helpline on 0800 027 1234. It is free, confidential and open 24 hours a day.

More information can be found on the Scottish Government website

Fife Violence Against Women Partnership
Tel: 01592 583690

Related Publications

Useful Links