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Warning Signs

Victims facing a forced marriage do not often express their concerns, but there are some warning signs that may indicate the possibility of an impending forced marriage:

>> Education/employment
>> Health
>> Family and background


Persistent absence from school/work, requests for extended leave
Drop in performance, low motivation, decline in behaviour engagement
Leaving work accompanied, surveillance by siblings or cousins at school
Limited career options, leaving school early to marry
Trips etc.


Evidence of self-harm, depression, social isolation, eating disorders or substance misuse
Early/unwanted pregnancy
Accompanied by family members to doctors or clinics
Female genital mutilation

Family and Background

Evidence of family disputes, domestic abuse, or running away from home
History of forced or early marriage of siblings
Unreasonable restrictions e.g. kept at home by parents and financial restrictions
Secret boyfriend /girlfriend
Sexual orientation deemed to be against family culture/religion

The above list is not exhaustive.

A young person demonstrating any of the above may not be necessarily at risk, but if you feel concerned about a potential forced marriage, you should contact the Forced Marriage Unit on 020 7008 0151.

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