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If you or someone you know is being forced into a marriage and is at risk: call the Police on 999. If your perpetrator is near you and it is not safe for you to speak, press 55 and the police will understand that you are at risk. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
If you need urgent advice, or need to get away call the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247. For specialist advice, click here for a list of organisations, but most operate on weekdays, and usually between 9.00 a.m - 5.30 pm.

Forced marriage is a hidden crime. It is not restricted to any single racial, ethnic, or religious community or class. Men and women, girls and boys, and transgender people are forced into marriage

This site is updated regularly. Watch this space for the latest news on our work and the other challenges to forced marriage in the UK.

NCFM salutes the courage of the many brave women, men, and children who step forward to speak out against forced marriage in their communities. Often they face a lonely world, cut off from their families and communities.


We wish to remember those who died because they wished to flee a forced marriage; and all victims and survivors of forced marriage.

Mohammad Hanif

Mihammad Hanif, novelist, speaking in Punjabi about Malala's statement in Vogue in which she said: "Why do people have to get married if they want to spend their lives together?"

Jayne Ozanne, LGBTQ activist

Jayne Ozanne, who has been at the forefront of a campaign for legislation against conversion therapy talks to NCFM about the many LGBTQ persons who have experienced forced marriage as a form of conversion therapy - to cure them of what is considered a deviant condition, notwithstanding that same-sex love, and marriage is legal in the UK, as is gender reassignment.

Jayne describes the immediate pain and suffering and post-traumatic stress disorder faced by persons who go through conversion therapy.

It is expected that legislation to ban conversion therapy will be mentioned in the Queen's Speech on Tuesday 11th May 2021.

Shafilea Ahmad and Banaz Mahmod were killed by their parents; the people who should have protected them the most

Shafilea Ahmed

In 2003, Shafilea was killed by her mother and father because she refused to live by their rules and marry a man of their choice

To read Shafilea's story and hear Pakistani film, TV, and theatre star, NADIA JAMIL as she recites Shafilea's poem, Happy Families, click here.

Banaz Mahmod

Banaz we remember you today with a profound sense of having failed to protect you. RIP

We honour your memory with a commitment to strengthen our fight against forced marriage, and other unjust and violent practices that uphold patriarchy and hide behind a mask of so-called 'honour'.

In 2006, Banaz was killed by her father, other relatives, and members of her wider community for fleeing a forced and abusive marriage

Read Banaz's story here...


Anne-Marie Hutchinson (born 1 August 1957 - died 2 October 2020)

We are very sad to lose Anne-Marie Hutchinson, a pillar of the Commission. Our Chair, Baroness Butler-Sloss described Anne-Marie as, 'an exceptional person whose premature death will leave a great gap in a very important and not always well-understood branch of law.'
Read the full tribute from Chair, and Anne-Marie's obituary in the Guardian: here

Raj, Payzee and Sameem were victims of child marriage and forced marriage. Today they are activists and campaigners.


THEY TELL US WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO BREAK THE SILENCE

Yehudis Fletcher from NAHAMU

At NCFM we argue that for a marriage to be valid, both parties to the marriage must give 'informed consent', which means that they must understand the implications of a conjugal relationship. Furthermore, if a party to a marriage has given informed consent, but at some point in the future, might wish to leave the marriage but cannot because of family, social or religious pressure, that marriage transforms into marital captivity or - a forced marriage. Yehudis Fletcher from NAHAMU has spoken to NCFM about her experience of forced marriage and divorce in the Jewish Charedi community. Watch her videos HERE

Anne Hamilton - Plymouth Brethren

Anne Hamilton talks to NCFM about forced marriage in the Plymouth Brethren community. She describes how, aged 18, she consented to marriage without understanding the meaning of conjugality.

Like many young persons, and especially girls and boys from her community, she had no relationship or sex education. She was not permitted to speak to young men other than her brothers.

Her husband was coercive and violent from day one. Anne had 5 children.

Finally, after decades of misery when she found the courage to leave the marriage, she had to give up her family and the only community she had ever known.

The day Anne spoke to us, she heard from a friend that her daughter was getting married. Sadly, she could not be there to witness this important event - but wished her daughter all the happiness that was denied to her.

Anne spoke out because she wants the young in particular to know what it means to be married, so they can give INFORMED CONSENT.