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Responding to forced marriage

Multi-agency practice guidelines

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of children/young people/adults at risk, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, sexual and emotional pressure, threatening conduct, harassment, threat of blackmail, use of deception and other means. It is also ‘force’ to knowingly take advantage of a person’s incapacity to consent to, or understand the nature of, the marriage. Duress may be from parents, other family members and the wider community