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In some cultures and traditions it is very normal for young man or woman to have an arranged marriage.
This is when a persons agrees for their parents, close family or friends help them choose a partner. Prior to getting married, the two people will meet each other and spend time together to find out if they are a good match, if the pair get along, they have option to marry each-other, and if not they have the option if meeting someone else by recommendation.
This is VERY different from a forced marriage.
According to the Home Office, forced marriage in the UK ‘is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognised in the UK as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.’
In a forced marriage, there is no choice. A person can not agree to something they have no say in. In a forced marriage one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will. This is wrong. No one should be forced to do marry someone if the do not want to
The pressures put on people to marry against their will can vary in severity, but all cases they are wrong. A person can be phyiscally harmed or abused, this includes threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence, emotional and psychological abuse, for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family or even financially by having their wages taken or not given any money.
Legislation on Forced Marriage (taken from the Home Office)
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 makes it a criminal offence to force someone to marry, this includes:
- Taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place)
- Marrying someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not)
- Breaching a Forced Marriage Protection Order is also a criminal offence
- The civil remedy of obtaining a Forced Marriage Protection Order through the family courts will continue to exist alongside the new criminal offence, so victims can choose how they wish to be assisted