General Article Facts about forced marriage

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What is forced marriage?

A forced marriage occurs when one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of children and some adults at risk, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure, threatening conduct, harassment, threat of blackmail, use of deception and other means. It is also force to knowingly take advantage of a person’s incapacity to consent to, or understand the nature of, the marriage.

The Scottish and UK Governments regard forced marriage as a form of domestic abuse, an abuse of human rights and, when children and young people are affected, child abuse.

There is a direct link between forced marriage and crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’. The most extreme examples – ‘honour’ killings – are committed in the belief that defiled honour can only be redeemed when the source of shame, that is the victim, is removed. This is often done in collusion with relatives and the commu...

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