Other forms of abuse

Other forms of abuse

There are some things which might increase the risk of someone being abused.

  • Records of the client being abused before, or records of suspected abuse.
  • Other members of the client’s family being abused.
  • Family tensions and conflicts.

Factors which have been shown to increase the chance of abuse include:

  • a client or donor being over 75 and female.
  • organic brain injury (lower mental function due to illness.)
  • Cognitive impairment (someone having trouble with memory, thinking skills or making decisions.)
  • Physical, mental or emotional dysfunction, especially depression, recently losing a partner, not having friends or a social network, living alone, or not having contact with their children.

Being aware of forced marriage.

Forced marriage happens across all cultures. It’s when someone is pressured into an arranged marriage or forced to marry someone they haven’t freely chosen. It can also happen if someone lacks the mental capacity to make their own choices.

Signs of forced marriage might be:

  • someone having a brother or sister who has been forced to marry.
  • Parents talking about marriage.
  • Hearing talk of weddings or parties.
  • Talk of family members coming to live with the family, or family trips overseas.
  • Wedding photos, clothes, gifts, Mehdi henna.
  • Unreasonable restrictions being placed on someone at home.
  • How much the person’s family deals with professionals who might help with organising a wedding or a visa, before a trip overseas.

Of course, these things may be perfectly innocent, but is the bride (or groom) actually a willing participant?

Reporting abuse to the Forced Marriage Unit

If the OPG suspect abuse involving a forced marriage, we will refer the matter to the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU). FMU is a joint agency with the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Forced Marriage Unit reassures, helps and gives options to victims of forced marriage. It works with the police, social services, teachers, welfare officers and health professionals to protect people at risk, and in extreme cases.

Next Article – Signs of Financial Abuse.

Previous Article – What is Safeguarding The OPG Role.


















can help to rescue victims who have been taken abroad.


21.3     If the forced marriage of a donor or client

has been organised by an attorney or deputy, or the attorney or deputy is aware of it, as well as referring the case to the FMU, OPG can investigate.

Next Article – The Office of the Public Guardians role in Safeguarding..