The University of Wolverhampton’s Statement on Forced Marriage

The University of Wolverhampton is committed to maintain a safe and inclusive campus for all our staff, students and visitors.

We have a zero-tolerance approach towards any form of unlawful discrimination, prejudice, bullying and harassment, and are committed to ensuring all people are treated with dignity and respect regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.

The University recognises that issues of Equality and Diversity are of paramount importance, and it is crucial that we do everything we can to enable all individuals to succeed.  The University recognises the different journeys our members have in front of them, and it is essential to understand and support their needs.  It is our priority to keep all members of the University community safe during their time with us

Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is when you face physical pressure to marry (for example threats, physical violence or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (for example if you’re made to feel like you are bringing shame on your family).

The University recognises that forced marriage is very different from arranged marriage, which is where both parties give their full and free consent to the marriage.

The home office has provided the following definition:

A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities or reduced capacity, cannot) consent to the marriage as they are pressurised, or abuse is used, to force them to do so. It is recognised in the UK as a form of domestic or child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will may be:

  • physical: for example, threats, physical violence or sexual violence
  • emotional and psychological: for example, making someone feel like they are bringing ‘shame’ on their family

Financial abuse, for example taking someone’s wages, may also be a factor.

The following video has been filmed on behalf of the Foreign Development and Commonwealth Office to highlight the impact of forced marriage on both victims and families.


We, at the University of Wolverhampton acknowledge the devastating impact of forced marriage on both victims and families. In 2019, the UK’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) dealt with 1355 cases of forced marriage.

In 72 cases “there was no overseas element, with the potential or actual forced marriage taking place entirely in the UK”. 

You have the right to choose who you marry, when you marry, or if you marry at all.  A marriage is a forced marriage if you have not been able to make any of those choices i.e. if you have faced physical pressure to marry e.g. threats, physical violence, sexual violence or; emotional or psychological pressure for example, if you are made to feel like you are brining shame on your family.

If you are uncertain whether you are being forced or have been forced into a marriage, you can find more information at


What to do if you have a concern

If you have any concerns about your own circumstances or that of a friend or colleague please contact the University’s Safeguarding Team for advice and support:


The following support is available for staff, students, and any member of the University to access: