What is a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO)?
An FMPO can be used to protect a person being forced into marriage or in a forced marriage.
A person is forced into a marriage if they are made to enter the marriage without their free and full consent. Force includes persuading by threats or other psychological means. It can include, for example, threats to harm you if you don't enter the marriage, or telling you that you will bring dishonour to the family unless you enter the marriage. Forced marriage is different to arranged marriage where families are involved in selecting a partner but it is up each individual in the couple to decide whether or not to enter the marriage.
The terms of the FMPO will depend upon the circumstances of the case. The order can, for example, order someone to:
- hand over passports and other travel documents
stop intimidation and violence
- reveal the whereabouts of a person
- stop someone being taken abroad
The following people can apply for a FMPO:
- Anyone at risk of forced marriage/or has been forced into a marriage
- A 'relevant third party' (i.e. a Local Authority)
- Any other person who is given permission (leave) by the court
Forcing a person into marriage is a criminal offence and if your abuser is found guilty of committing this offence they can be sentenced to prison for up to 7 years. Breaching a forced marriage protection order is also a criminal offence and if your abuser is found guilty of breaching the order they can be sentenced to prison for up to 5 years.