Forced Marriage Protection Orders: Enhancing protection and prevention responses [Nuffield Foundation] [Anitha, Gill© & Noack-Lundberg, 2023]

Project Details


Understanding Protection and Prevention Responses to Forced Marriage in England and Wales
[Anitha, Gill© & Noack-Lundberg, 2023]

A forced marriage is a marriage that lacks the consent of one or both parties, which is legally recognized as a form of domestic violence that primarily affects women and girls in the UK. Forced Marriage Protections Orders (FMPOs) are civil injunctions designed to prevent forced marriages and protect the victims/survivors. Although approximately 200-250 FMPOs have been granted annually in England & Wales since 2014, little is known about their use and potential impact on the victims/survivors. The aims of this first-ever study of FMPOs is to understand the workings of FMPOs and generate recommendations for improving preventative and protective responses to forced marriages.
A mixed methods approach was utilized drawing on quantitative data on FMPO applications in England & Wales and data from five police forces on FMPOs obtained between 2014 and 2019, and qualitative data from reported judgements on FMPOs (n=37), police case files from five force areas (n=70), life-history interviews with survivors (n=11) and interviews with practitioners (n=42).

Key findings

This research shows us for the first time how Forced Marriage Protection Orders are a double-edged sword. Although they can prevent forced marriage and protect victims, these orders can also increase the risk of honour-based violence, including abduction, physical assaults, and rape.”

Other key findings from the research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, included:
• The most common age of women and men subject to forced marriages was 16-21, but girls (and boys) as young as 11 were also victims.
• People with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, Trans, queer+ (LGBTQ+) were especially vulnerable to forced marriage.
• While it is commonly believed that forced marriages occur in South Asian or Middle Eastern diaspora communities, they were also found to occur in Irish, Nigerian and Somali communities, among others.
• In extreme cases, efforts to prevent arrange marriage have resulted in perpetrators fleeing the country, kidnapping victims, issuing threats of violence, and committing torture and rape.
Alternative titleForced Marriage/FMPOs
Effective start/end date12/09/2231/05/23

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for Gender and Violence Research
  • Forced Marriage
  • Forced Marriage Protection Orders
  • Coercion
  • Policing
  • Safeguarding
  • Harm Minimization
  • Gender-based violence


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