Everyone has the right to choose who they marry and when they marry, or if they marry at all.
Forced marriage is when someone does not consent and faces pressure to marry. This pressure could be physical (for example threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (for example if someone is made to feel like they are bringing shame on their family).
Men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds can be victims of forced marriage.
Forced marriage is a serious abuse of human rights and is illegal in the UK. This includes taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether the forced marriage takes place or not) and marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they are pressured or not).
Find out more about forced marriage and what protection, advice and support is available.
Forced marriage is different from an arranged marriage, where families take a leading role in choosing a partner for their son or daughter and both parties give their full and free consent.
An honour killing is the murder of a person by members of their family or social group, carried out in the name of protecting cultural beliefs or honour with the purpose of controlling behaviour.
Those targeted are believed to have shamed their family or community or violated the principles of their religion.
They are often linked to reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their family, having sex outside of marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate, engaging in homosexual relations or renouncing a faith.
Honour killings are especially targeted against women and homosexuals, and occur in various cultures worldwide, including in the UK.
If you have concerns about someone’s safety please call the police on 999.