Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is a marriage that takes place without the consent of one or both people in the marriage. Sometimes family members will threaten or use force to make someone consent to marriage. This issue does not just affect female victims; research suggests that 15 percent of the cases involve male victims.

The U.S. Department of State views forced marriage as a human rights abuse and, in the case of minors, a form of child abuse. If you are a U.S. citizen and the victim of a forced marriage overseas, you can:

  • Contact the closest U.S. embassy or consulate or call our Overseas Citizens Services office in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (from outside the United States and Canada, call 202-501-4444).
  • Check the “Special Circumstances” section of our country information pages for further information and possible resources in the country you are visiting. 

For more information:


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Last Updated: November 22, 2022