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A teary eye with the words "Forced Marriage. I said no. If I can do it so can you."

Forced Marriage Protection Orders (under the Forced Marriage etc. (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland) Act 2011) aim to protect people who are threatened with or who are already in a forced marriage; third parties can apply for these on a victim’s behalf.

Forced marriage is different to arranged marriage in which the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the prospective spouses have the choice whether or not to accept the arrangement.

This tradition has existed successfully in many communities and countries for a very long time. But, if the spouse changes their mind and is forced to go ahead with the marriage, it is considered a forced marriage.

Forcing someone to marry or taking advantage of their lack of understanding to trick them into taking part in a marriage is against the law in Scotland; so too is taking someone away from Scotland, against their will, to be married elsewhere. There may be associated criminal activities such as abduction; physical abuse; and threats.

Always remember the ‘one chance’ rule: you may only have one chance to speak to a potential victim of forced marriage and, therefore, only one chance to save a life.

Scottish Government: One chance checklist

Source: Responding to Forced Marriage - Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines published by the Scottish Government

Contact Information

Social Services (Kilmarnock)
The Johnnie Walker Bond
15 Strand Street
East Ayrshire
Telephone: 01563 554200
Social Services (Cumnock)
Rothesay House
1 Greenholm Road
East Ayrshire
KA18 1LH
Telephone: 01290 427720
Social Services (Dalmellington)
33 Main Street
East Ayrshire
Telephone: 01292 552900
Social Work: Ayrshire Urgent Care Service
Note: The Emergency Out Of Hours Social Work Service is available after 5pm until 9am, Monday to Thursday and after 4pm on Friday until 9am on Monday (throughout the weekend). It is also available during public holidays. You will be put through to the Ayrshire Social Work out of Hours Response Service. A qualified Social Worker will assess the circumstances referred.