Forced Marriages and Honour-Based Violence Solicitors London
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police.
Forcing someone to marry against their will is a criminal offence in this country.
Victims or potential victims of forced marriage and/or honour-based violence require the urgent help of a Solicitor who understands not only the legal aspects of the case, but the cultural factors that this type of domestic violence stems from.
Contact our Forced Marriage and Honour-Based Violence Solicitors in London
The right solicitor changes everything. Anglo Law Solicitors provides expert legal advice on Forced Marriage and Honour-Based Violence.
Speak directly to a family solicitor now on 020 3741 9583 or complete our online contact form for your free consultation. For evening and weekend assistance, please call our family law solicitors on 07749 448362.
Anglo law solicitors serve client across the following areas:
The City of London, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Southwark, Bishopsgate, Billingsgate, Canary Wharf, Spitalfields, Aldgate, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Kent, Tunbridge Wells, West Malling, Chafford Hundred, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Epping & Loughton.
Shabana Sultana, founder of Anglo Law and the head of the family team, has extensive experience in protecting and achieving justice for victims of forced marriages and honour-based abuse. She understands the terrible choices many girls have to make between marrying a stranger or being disowned by a family they love. To help you build a safe future where you can continue your education and fulfil your promise, our Solicitors can put you in touch with support agencies, and counsellors.
Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi are spoken fluently in our office. We can also arrange for interpreters if they are required.
What is a forced marriage?
A forced marriage is legally defined as a person being forced "to enter into a marriage without one's free and full consent". A person may not be able to provide consent due to age or because they have learning disabilities or lack mental capacity.
It is illegal under UK law to force a person to marry another, either within the country or abroad. Marriage is interpreted as being a religious or civil ceremony (whether or not it is legally binding).
Force can include physical violence, threats, being removed from the country, locked in the family home until consent to the marriage is obtained, and/or psychological coercion.
What is the difference between an arranged marriage and forced marriage?
An arranged marriage is one whereby parents or a wider community take an active role in choosing a spouse for another; however, the choice as to whether to get married remains free and independent. In the case of a forced marriage, not only is the spouse chosen, the victim cannot refuse to wed without negative consequences being inflicted.
It is not unusual for arranged-marriages to escalate into forced marriages.
How is honour-based violence defined?
For some communities, the concept of ‘honour’ is of vital importance. For honour to be compromised means the family lose face within their community. Therefore, the person bringing about dishonour is responsible for shame being brought on the family. In most cases, abuse is inflicted by members of the victim’s immediate family, however, extended family, such as uncles and cousins can also play a part. It is important to note that female family members are just as capable of perpetrating honour-based abuse as men.
Although it is hard to estimate the extent of honour-based violence in the UK as much of it is hidden behind closed doors, a Freedom of Information request to UK police forces in 2014 revealed that over 11,000 cases of so-called ‘honour’ crime were recorded between 2010-14.
What is a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO)?
Under section 63A(1) of the Family Law Act 1996, the court can make an order to protect a person from being forced into marriage or from any attempt to be forced into marriage.
Several people can be named in an court order, namely those who are, or may become involved in forcing or attempting to force a person to marry, and persons who are or may become involved in other respects such as aiding or encouraging a forced marriage.
How does the court decide whether to make an FMPO?
Under sections 63A (2) and (3) of the Family Law Act 1996, in deciding whether to make an FMPO the court must:
- "Have regard to all the circumstances including the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of the person to be protected
- Consider the wishes and feelings of the person to be protected, so far as they are ascertainable, and it is appropriate to do so in the light of that person's age and understanding”.
Can a third party apply for an FMPO on someone else’s behalf?
Yes, there are three categories of individuals who can apply for an FMPO:
- The victim (there is no age limit so a child can apply)
- A relevant third party (this includes a local authority)
- Any other person with the leave of the court
If you are concerned about a family member or friend being forced into a marriage, talk to us, and we can take steps to ensure their safety.
Can I apply for public funding to pay for an application for an FMPO?
Victims may be able to access financial help to pay for legal advice relating to an FMPO. Our family law solicitors will assist you in establishing whether or not you are eligible for public funds and assist you with making an application. We would consider undertaking emergency work on a pro bono basis where a forced marriage is imminent and there is no time to secure funding.
The solicitor speaks Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi and we can offer to have an interpreter where needed I other languages.