Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Forced marriage

Hi Sam,

 I hope you can answer or even help me or even give advice to my problem.If you do, i shall be very grateful. Im 12 years old and have got a secret depresion and this is that briefly i'll sum it up.

My problem is that in my family (dads side) there is a history of forced marrige.My grandma is very strict and if i go to my home country(bangladesh)  for the holidays with my family, i am really concerened and self-concious because in bangladesh they are a really bad LEDC and just stare at you if you wear normal clothes you would here.I have been preassured even more that "if you dont do good at school and become a really good lawyer and get a degree, then you will be forced into marriage.Whatever you do go on call police they wont care because you are our responsibilty not theirs.You better learn reality..." etc.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Nobody has the right to force you into marriage and it’s against the law to do so in the UK. The problem is that forced marriages often happen abroad, so it’s important to get help whilst you are still in the UK if you think you might be forced to marry in another country.

You should get to decide who you marry, if you decide to get married at all. Choosing your partner is one of the biggest decisions you’ll get to make. Nobody should be making it for you.

If you think that you are going to be forced into marriage then it’s important to tell someone as soon as possible whilst you are still in the UK. This could be ChildLine or it could be the Forced Marriage Unit. The police should take you seriously and they will care.

If you know about arrangements to take you abroad but have been told to keep it a secret, it would be good to talk to someone you trust. If there are family plans to go abroad which seem out of the blue or if it feels you've been kept from knowing, it would also really help to tell someone you trust. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it's okay to ask for help. You could tell an adult you trust, like a teacher or a friend's parent. You can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor.

Whether your parents are intending to force you to marry or not, it’s not okay for them to use this as a threat over you. This is a form of emotional abuse and that’s not okay.

I hope reading about this has helped, but if you need to talk more, our counsellors are always here for you.

Take care,

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