Estimating the prevalence of forced marriage in England

Keogh, Peter; Kazimirski, Anne; Purdon, Susan and Maisey, Ruth (2013). Estimating the prevalence of forced marriage in England. In: Ribbens McCarthy, Jane; Hooper, Carol Ann and Gillies, Val eds. Family Troubles? Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Family Lives of Children and Young People. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 245–256.



A forced marriage (FM) has been defined in the UK as "a marriage conducted without the valid consent of both parties, wheree duress is a factor" (Home Office, 2000, p.4). The Court of Appeal clarified that duress is: "whether the mind of the applicant has been overborne, howsoever that was caused" (Magill and Lee, 2008, p.8). FM is therefore a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some vulnerable adults, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. FM is therefore distinct from arranged marriage, as in an arranged marriage the family will take the lead in arranging the match but the couples have a choice as to whether to proceed.

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