Forced marriages happen in many religions and nationalities, and can affect both boys and girls. It doesn’t only happen to young people, it can happen to adults too. There are some people and communities that think forced marriage is okay.
But it’s important to remember that all major religions (Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Jewish) are against forced marriage. Forced marriage is never okay, and it’s important to remember there is help available.
Forced marriage is against the law in the UK and you have a right to say no if you're being made to marry someone who you don’t want to. The minimum age for marriage in the UK is 16.
You have the right to:
- choose who you marry, when you marry or whether you want to get married or not
- make decisions and to be able to tell someone about what’s happening to you
- feel safe and to ask for help
- say no and explain that you don’t feel happy with what is happening.
You might worry that if you tell someone then your parents or other people could get into trouble. Or you may think it will make things worse. You don’t have to deal with this on your own. There are people who won’t judge you and who will support you with what you’re going through. You can contact a counsellor in private at any time and talk about anything.