Forced marriage is a serious breach of human rights which affects millions of girls and women as well as boys and men worldwide, including in Australia. A forced marriage is when a person gets married without freely and fully consenting. This may be because they do not understand the nature and effect of the marriage ceremony or they have been coerced threatened or deceived, because of emotional pressure from their family, threats of or actual physical harm, or being tricked into marrying someone. A person under 16 years of age at the time of the marriage is not usually considered to be capable of understanding the nature and effect of a marriage ceremony. This type of marriage can have long-term negative impacts on people and families and is against the law in Australia.
The impact on men and women who have been forced to marry is severe and long-lasting. People who have experienced forced marriage or the threat of forced marriage may suffer psychological trauma, increased risk to family violence, decreased access to education and work opportunities, financial dependence, forced labour and health issues associated with forced and early pregnancy.
If you are in a forced marriage or are worried you are going to be forced to marry, please know that help is available and that you are not alone. You may be scared and unsure of your future. You may be confused about your feelings and duties and may not know what to do next. You can contact one of the numbers on this page to get some help and support.
For more information about Forced Marriage click here