Since November 2011 it is against the law to force someone into a marriage in Scotland.
There is a clear distinction between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage. An arranged marriage occurs where both parties consent to the arrangement and is usually a contract between two families. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights at Article 16(2) provides ‘Marriage shall be entered into where there is free and full consent of both parties.’ A forced marriage occurs where there is no free and valid consent by one or both parties.
Individuals who find themselves in this situation are normally subject to extreme pressure and duress by their parents and extended family. This can involve physical, emotional and financial abuse, social pressures, imprisonment in your own home, abduction and in extreme cases may lead to ‘honour killings’.
If you or someone that you know has been forced into a marriage or is being forced into a marriage legal protection is now available. You can apply to the Court for a Forced Marriage Protection Order. Before the Court grants the Forced Marriage Protection Order it will take into account all the circumstances including the need to secure the safety, health and wellbeing of the person requiring protection. The Court will take into account the wishes and feelings of the person requiring protection based on the available information relative to your age and understanding.
What can a forced marriage protection order do to make you SAFE ?
Stop the marriage from going ahead within or out with Scotland
An action for annulment can be raised in the Sheriff Court
For all documents to be sent to the Court for example: passports, birth certificate, travel documents etc.
End the involvement of anyone conspiring or assisting another person to force or attempt to force a person into a marriage.
Anyone who breaches a Forced Marriage Protection Order will be committing an offence and may receive a fine, prison sentence or both. It is also a criminal offence in Scotland for force someone into a marriage.
We provide safe refuge accommodation to women and young girls who are subject to forced marriage. Outreach Support Services are available to women and young people including boys up to the age of 18.
The Scottish National Helpline Number for victims of Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage is 0800 027 1234
If you or anyone you know have been threatened with the possibility of being taken abroad or if you know of anyone who has been abducted contact the Forced Marriage Unit based at the Home Office in London. The Forced Marriage Unit helps victims in the UK and abroad. Contact details are as follows:
You will require to provide them with your passport details and personal details or if this is not possible you or someone on your behalf can contact us.