The Forced Marriage Unit provides confidential information and assistance to potential victims and concerned professionals. Outlines are provided showing the difference between arranged and forced marriage, the legal position, and possible consequences of forced marriage.

Education professionals can make a difference to the outcome for the students involved. There are sections covering what to do if a student seeks help, is going overseas imminently, or what you should do if you suspect a student may be forced to marry.

Warning signs can include a sudden drop in performance, truancy from lessons and conflicts with parents over the continuation of the student’s education. There may be excessive parental restrictions and control, a history of domestic abuse within the family, or extended absence through sickness or overseas commitments.

Students may show signs of depressive behaviour or self-harming, and there may be a history of older siblings leaving education early to marry young.

Some advice is given on ways to aid debate within the curriculum. Suggestions include relevant book and video titles and where to access them.

Copies of this guidance can be downloaded below. Or users can order hard copies by emailing: or calling: 020 7008 0151.

Visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for more information


  • Forced marriage, its incidence and motivating factors
  • A symptom chart of warning signs
  • The impact on the victim
  • How education professionals can make a difference
  • What to do if you are concerned
  • Good practice
  • Additional information to give students
  • Contact numbers for national support agencies and British High Commissions