For many communities the custom of arranged marriages goes back centuries and is considered by those concerned as a sacred part of their way of life. For many individuals and families, an arranged consensual marriage is a time of family celebration and no issue arises from the arrangement made, all parties having consented to the arrangement.
Unfortunately some individuals are never given the choice as to whether they wish to marry or not, and in those circumstances when an individual has been given no choice upon the matter then the marriage is considered to have been “forced”.
In many cases, the immediate family will try to persuade the reluctant party to marriage with threats or even inflict or threaten violence to protect the family honour.
“Forced marriages” are those conducted without the consent of one or both of the parties who are the subject of the marriage with pressure having been a factor. Those who are forced to participate will often experience actual and threatened acts of physical violence, rape, abduction, will often have been falsely imprisoned or enslaved, sexually or mentally and emotionally abused, and in reported cases even threatened with or become the victims of murder.
The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act came into force on 25 November 2008 and has been enacted to offer to individuals at risk protection, giving the court the ability to make a number of protective orders designed to protect any person from being forced into a marriage, or any person who has already been forced into a marriage. Any person believing that they are at risk or have been forced into marriage against their will can now ask the court for the protection of an order known as a Forced Marriage Protection Order.
Briefly, a Forced Marriage Protection Order can:
- Prevent a forced marriage from occurring, or
- Put a stop to threats of violence or actual violence and intimidation or harassment, or
- Stop someone from being taken abroad including confiscating passports against their will.
If you believe that you are at risk of being made to marry another against your consent or if this is in fact happening to you, or someone you know, then we would strenuously suggest that you obtain immediate advice and assistance upon the matter.
At Kyles Legal Practice we have represented individuals who have required the protection of such an order and indeed have represented mothers, fathers and others who have received such orders before the court.
Any allegation of forced marriage or honour based violence are frightening and distressing for everyone involved.
At Kyles Legal Practice we understand you are likely to be feeling a range of emotions including anxiety, fear and uncertainty about what the future holds. As a firm we promise to listen to your worries and concerns, to talk through your available options with you and where appropriate refer you to external support services to ensure you receive practical advice and emotional help such as counselling, help with entitlement to state benefits and finding somewhere else safe to live if this is necessary.
At Kyles Legal Practice we also upon request work with those persons who are being accused of forcing someone into a marriage, as well as those who need to take action to prevent a marriage from happening.
As a firm we are able to secure emergency Legal Aid for cases such as in the case of forced marriage subject to application.
To arrange a discussion with one of our specialist lawyers please call us on 0191 257 1051 or email us at email@example.com