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Risk of forced marriage amongst people with learning disabilities in the UK: Perspectives of South Asian carers

McCarthy, M.; Clawson, R.; Patterson, A.; Fyson, A.; Khan, L.


M. McCarthy

A. Patterson

A. Fyson

L. Khan


Background: People with intellectual disabilities are at increased risk of forced marriage in comparison to those without intellectual disabilities. In the UK this risk is particularly, though not exclusively, associated with South Asian communities and is linked to the desire to secure long-term care.
Method: Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were undertaken with South Asian parents and family carers (n=22) of adults with intellectual disability and the resultant data thematically analysed.
Results: Although securing care for their intellectually disabled son or daughter was identified as a key motivator for forced marriage, other important themes also emerged. These included not only cultural and religious beliefs about disability and marriage, but also limited understanding of relevant laws. Factors militating against forced marriage were also identified, including fears of abuse and neglect.
Conclusions: The implications for the provision of services and the need for improved access to information on forced marriage of people with intellectual disabilities are highlighted.


McCarthy, M., Clawson, R., Patterson, A., Fyson, A., & Khan, L. (2021). Risk of forced marriage amongst people with learning disabilities in the UK: Perspectives of South Asian carers. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 34(1), 200-210.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 15, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 17, 2020
Publication Date 2021-01
Deposit Date Sep 4, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 18, 2021
Journal Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Print ISSN 1360-2322
Electronic ISSN 1468-3148
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 1
Pages 200-210
Keywords Forced marriage; intellectual disability; South Asian carers; capacity and consent to marry; ethnicity
Public URL
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