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Child abuse

Forced marriage and honour killings information for professionals

Forced Marriage

In 2012 alone, the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) provided advice and support to 1,485 possible forced marriage cases. It is understood that forced marriage is still underreported and the scale of the problem is likely to be much greater.

There is a clear distinction between an arranged and forced marriage. An arranged marriage is entered freely by both parties, although their families take a leading role in the choice of the partner. It becomes a forced marriage when there is any form of duress.

Honour Killings

Honour based abuse is a form of domestic abuse which is perpetrated in the name of so called ‘honour’.  It is often linked to family members or acquaintances who believe someone has brought shame on their family by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of their culture.

Women and girls are the most common victims of honour based violence however it can also affect men and boys.

Crimes of ‘honour’ do not always include violence. Crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’ might include:

  • domestic abuse
  • threats of violence
  • sexual or psychological abuse
  • forced marriage
  • being held against your will or taken somewhere you don’t want to go
  • assault

Useful resources and training

Find out more about forced marriage and what protection, advice and support is available.

The Safer Devon Partnership Exploitation Toolkit provides information to help professionals and volunteers understand, identify and report signs of exploitation.

Getting help

Karma Nirvana

Karma Nirvana is a British human rights charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage.

If you are worried about the safety or wellbeing of a child or young person in Devon,
please complete the request for support online form.


If you think that the child is at risk of significant harm,
contact our Front Door directly by calling 0345 155 1071.


In an emergency call 999.