How many calls does the helpline receive?

On average, we receive 700-800 calls a month to our helpline. 40% of calls are from professionals. There is an increase in the number of calls just before the school holidays, as this is when students are taken abroad to be married.

Are schools involved?

Schools are at the heart of prevention as forced marriage and honour-based abuse affect children as well as adults. During the summer holidays, there is a peak in male and female students going missing as they are often taken abroad for a forced marriage. Schools, therefore, play a crucial role in safeguarding students and helping to raise awareness as the absence of some students is not questioned and sometimes professionals regard this abuse as ‘cultural’ when no religion or culture condones this abuse.

We have a young person officer who goes into schools and educational establishments to help raise awareness amongst students and professionals so that they are aware that help and support are available and can support those who are at risk.

Can I get legal protection to prevent a forced marriage?

Yes. Under the Forced Marriage Act 2007, you can apply to designated courts in England and Wales for a Forced Marriage Civil Protection Order. You can also ask someone to do so on your behalf. These orders can be used to prevent someone being forced into a marriage or to protect someone if a forced marriage has already taken place. A person may be arrested if they breach an order.