The UK government has issued a warning to teachers, doctors and airport staff to be alert to the risk of forced marriages over the school holidays.
Forced marriage is when a person faces physical pressure to marry (threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (made to feel like you’re bringing shame on the family). The summer marks a peak in reports of forced marriage cases, when youngsters can be taken on ‘holiday’, unaware of the real purpose of the trip.
A person has the right to choose who they marry, when they marry, or if they marry at all. If you, or someone you know is at risk and you would like to speak to someone about this, there are many organisations in Suffolk you can contact about this or any other domestic abuse issue.
Suffolk Police, also work jointly with partners in social care services, health and Education, and have their own Honour-Based Violence (HBV) Projects Officer who can also offer advice and expert knowledge on forced marriage to victims and practitioners. Contact Suffolk Police on 101.
In an Emergency always dial 999
There are also a number of agencies outside Suffolk that you can contact who have expertise in this area:
Celebrates the UK‘s cultural diversity and all the traditions that these bring – but it makes a clear distinction between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage
Call 0845 607 0133 or text “4freedom” 88802
Southall Black Sisters
A not-for-profit organisation set up in 1979 to meet the needs of black (Asian and African-Caribbean) and minority ethnic women.
Helpline 0208 571 0800
General Enquiries 0208 571 9595
Newham Asian Women’s Project
This project is a woman only organisation and charity working to end violence against women and girls.
Telephone 0208 472 0528
They have one clear aim: to stop the scandal of forced marriage and honour-based violence. No apologies. No excuses. No backing down.
Honour Network Helpline 0800 599 9247
The Kiran Project
A project set up in 1990 to meet the needs of women from the Indian sub-continent experiencing domestic violence.
Telephone 0208 558 1986
Forced Marriage Unit
The Government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), contact them if you’re trying to stop a forced marriage or you need help leaving a marriage you’ve been forced into.
Telephone: 020 7008 0151
From overseas: +44 (0)20 7008 0151
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Out of hours: 020 7008 1500 (ask for the Global Response Centre)