top of page

Adult Social Care Glossary, v 0.41

Forced marriage

About            #   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z            Browse by theme

Definition or reference in Statutory Guidance
Multi-agency statutory guidance for dealing with forced marriage and Multi-agency practice guidelines: Handling cases of forced marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not consent to the marriage but are coerced into it. Force can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. In the cases of vulnerable adults who lack the capacity to consent to marriage, coercion is not required for a marriage to be forced.

Sections 121 and 122 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 state that a person commits an offence under the law in England and Wales if he or she 'uses violence, threats or any other form of coercion for the purpose of causing another person to enter into a marriage and believes, or ought reasonably to believe, that the conduct may cause the other person to enter into the marriage without free and full consent.' It also states that forced marriage can be committed if a person lacks capacity, whether or not coercion plays a part. If the person is found guilty on indictment, the maximum penalty is seven years' imprisonment. The Act also makes it an offence to lure someone overseas for the purpose of forced marriage.

NICE Guideline PH50 - Domestic violence and abuse: multi-agency working

A forced marriage is one 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 but are forced into it using physical, psychological, financial, sexual or emotional pressure. ('Handling cases of forced marriage', HM Government 2008). It is distinct from an arranged marriage that both partners enter into freely.

bottom of page