Forced Marriage & Honour Based ABUSE FM/HBA

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without her/his consent or against her/his will.

Forced marriage is different from an arranged marriage in which both parties consent to the assistance of parents/family or a third party in identifying a spouse.

FM/HBA is a crime or incident which is often committed to protect or defend the so called 'honour' of family and/or community.  We recognise FM/HBA as one of the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) issues, that we support women and girls with as an integral part of our service offer.

Crimes of so called 'honour' do not always include violence; crimes committed may include:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Threats of violence
  • Threats to disown you
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological/emotional abuse, for example "Your grandma wants to see you marry before she dies"; "I will kill myself if you bring shame to our family by not getting married"; "If you don't marry him then your sister will have to"
  • Forced Marriage
  • Being held against your will or taken somewhere where you do not want to go (often to another country)
  • Surveillance and harrassment

Services we offer

  • Specialist practical and emotional support services for any women and girls at risk of or fleeing from FM/HBA
  • Safe refuge to women and girls over the age of 16 years old
  • Awareness raising within work places, schools, colleges, universities and community groups
  • Provide training to professionals in statutory and voluntary services in order for us all to work together against FM/HBA
  • To provide professionals with the skills to ask the correct questions in a safe and sensitive way along with clear referral pathways to Coventry Haven Women's Aid, for our specialist support 
  • The recruitment of community champions, volunteers and advocates with cultural knowledge and language skills to raise awareness and support women and girls at risk of, or fleeing from FM/HBA 

If you require more information or are interested in becoming a volunteer, community champion or advocate for Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse, please contact Kiran Devi on kdevi@coventryhaven.co.uk or Sarah Bhayat on sbhayat@coventryhaven.co.uk

We are currently working with regional partners to deliver the Our Girl Campaign across the West Midlands. Please click here for more information.  

Laws on Forced Marriage

It is a criminal offence to force a person into a marriage against their will in England and Wales as well as for UK Nationals being taken abroad to be forced into a marriage.

The maximum penalty for the offence is 7 years imprisonment.

A person at risk of a Forced Marriage or fleeing a Forced Marriage can also apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) if the order is breached, it carries a five year prison sentence.

IF YOU ARE ABROAD

Contact the nearest British Consulate Embassy or High Commission for help.