Forced Marriage and HBV

Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence

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).

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.

Find out more about forced marriage and what protection, advice and support is available.

Honour Based Violence (HBV)

Honour based violence is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to protect or defend the so called ‘honour’ of the family or community.

There is no honour in killing.

HBV is often linked to family members or acquaintances who mistakenly believe someone has brought shame to their family or community by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of their culture.

For example, honour based violence might be committed against people who:

  • become involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend from a different culture or religion
  • want to get out of an arranged marriage
  • want to get out of a forced marriage
  • wear clothes or take part in activities that might not be considered traditional within a particular culture

An ‘honour’ killing is the most extreme form of HBV and 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.

If you have concerns about someone’s safety please call the police on 999.

North Tyneside Council offers an e-learning resource for practitioners.  This can be accessed here

Getting help

Karma Nirvana

This is a UK charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. The national helpline offers direct support and guidance to victims and professionals. The organisation also provides training to the police, NHS and social care services.


Tel 0800 5999 247

Email: [email protected]

Forced Marriage Unit

Contact the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) if you’re trying to stop a forced marriage or need help leaving a forced marriage. Offer free advice on what to do next, as well as help with finding a safe place to stay and stopping a UK visa if you’ve been forced to sponsor someone.


Tel 020 7008 0151

Email: [email protected]


Advice and support for children and young people who are victims of honour-based abuse or being forced into marriage. Children and young people aged under 19 can call the confidential 24 hour helpline or chat online with a counsellor on 0800 1111


Tel: 0800 111


If you are worried that a child or adult may be at risk of, or who has been subjected to FGM, you can contact the NSPCC on their 24 hour helpline anonymously.


Tel: 0800 028 3550