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Liverpool Forced Marriage Protocol

The protocol has been developed to assist professionals and community groups working in Liverpool to appropriately respond to victims of forced marriage, act on the assessment of risk and provide support as appropriate.

Forced marriage is a marriage conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties, where some element of duress is a factor. Duress can include physical, psychological, sexual, financial and emotional pressure. This is different from an arranged marriage, which is a respected tradition in many cultures and is consented to by both parties.

Liverpool’s Safeguarding Boards understand forced marriage to be a form of abuse, and a breach of human rights. It is, therefore, important to safeguard any child, young person or adult subjected to a forced marriage.

You should follow this protocol if you:
• Work directly with children, young people and adults,
• Work with or supervise others who have contact with children, young people and adults
• Are a concerned member of the public.

Cases should be responded to by using existing structures, policies and procedures
designed to safeguard children, young people and victims of domestic violence.

You can download a copy of the protocol (see link to the left) and can find out more by looking at the Savera webite.


The ‘One Chance’ Rule

All practitioners/professionals working with victims of Forced Marriage and 'Honour' Based Violence need to be aware of the ‘one chance’ rule, there may be only one chance to help/support the person at risk of forced marriage. All practitioners/professionals need to be aware of their responsibilities and obligations


What are the basic steps that you need to follow to ensure the safety of someone?

Believe the victim
See the victim alone/consider their wishes
Give assurance of confidentiality
Consider family members who could be at risk and who could be the abuser
Secure a safe contact method and code word to communicate with the victimSeek help from other agencies e.g. police

Send the victim away
Underestimate the perpetrators of HBV- they do kill their closest family members
Approach the family or community leaders
Share information without the consent of the individual
Attempt mediation



If you ever feel that you are in immediate danger, call the police on 999 and do not be afraid to call the police. All forms of domestic and sexual violence and harmful practices are serious crimes; the police can protect you. 

(Just remember you are not on your own)

Who to contact

Contact Name
Savera UK
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