Predatory Marriage

Each year, the 15th June marks Elder Abuse Day – a day to raise awareness of the abuse and neglect of older and people and what can be done about it. We were fortunate enough to be invited along to a workshop hosted by South Tyneside Safeguarding Partnership on the topic of predatory marriage. We heard from Daphne Franks, whose mum Joan was a victim of this type of abuse. You can find out more about Daphne’s story here:

What is forced or predatory marriage?

Everyone has the right to choose who they marry, when they marry or to marry at all.

Forced or predatory marriage is a form of domestic abuse and exploitation. The alleged perpetrator will often pressurise, groom and/or coerce a victim to marry for their own purposes or gain. This could be to take their money, inherit their property, abuse or to control them. It also includes alleged perpetrators marrying an adult who lacks mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they’re pressured to or not).  

Adults with cognitive or mental impairments (such as a learning disability or dementia) are particularly at risk of this type of abuse. Children can also be at risk of forced marriage.

Forced marriage is illegal in England and Wales. This includes taking someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the forced marriage takes place).

What to do if you are concerned about forced or predatory marriage?

If someone is in immediate danger, phone 999.

Forced or predatory marriage concerns can be reported via usual safeguarding routes. Please visit our report a concern page for more information.

The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is a dedicated team who support people at risk of forced marriage or who have already been forced to marry.

Forced Marriage Unit
Telephone: 020 7008 0151
From overseas: +44 (0)20 7008 0151
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Out of hours: 020 7008 5000

Find out more

Forced Marriage guidance from the UK Government.

Predatory Marriage UK is an organisation campaigning to reform marriage laws and procedures to protect people with dementia

Forced Marriage Awareness E-Learning. The modules aim to enable professionals to recognise the warning signs and ensure that appropriate action is taken to help protect and support all those at risk.