BMA report

Victims of forced marriage

Practical advice on your responsibilities when consulted by individuals who are either victims of forced marriage, or who may fear that they are going to be forced into marriage.
Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Wednesday 4 December 2019
Justice scales article illustration

You may occasionally be consulted by individuals who are either victims of forced marriage, or who may fear that they are going to be forced into marriage at some time in the future.

This guidance provides you with practical advice on your responsibilities in these circumstances.

 

What you’ll get from this guide

  • What forced marriage is and why it is a health issue.
  • The key legal and ethical factors doctors need to consider when encountering victims of forced marriage or patients who may be at risk of forced marriage.
  • Signposts to other key resources and support for victims of forced marriage.

 

How to use this guide

This guidance will provide you with the key legal and ethical considerations you need to take into account when encountering victims of forced marriage or patients who may be at risk of forced marriage. The guidance also signposts to other sources of support and information.

It is not a set of rules or instructions, or a substitute for careful reflection and discussion with colleagues.

You can seek additional advice on specific dilemmas from the BMA’s medical ethics and human rights department, the GMC, or your medical defence organisation.

Topics
  • What is forced marriage?
  • Why is forced marriage a health issue?
  • Focusing on the victim
  • Special precautions
  • Child protection
  • Adult victims
  • Confidentiality and information sharing
  • Further support resources