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What is forced marriage?

Forced marriage is when you face pressure to marry. This can be physical pressure such as threats, physical or sexual violence. It can also be emotional and psychological pressure. For example made to feel like you're bringing shame on your family.

You have the right to choose:

  • who you marry
  • when you marry
  • if you marry at all

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.

Men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds can be victims of forced marriage.

Whatever the situation, if anyone uses emotional or physical pressure to force you into a marriage or a civil partnership without your consent, this is an abuse of your human rights and against the law.

Your rights

As a victim of crime, you have rights. The Victims' Code for Scotland sets out these rights and who to contact for help and advice.

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