In the event of forced marriage, future brides or grooms are forced by their parents or family to enter into marriage against their will. Girls and young women in particular are then frequently unable to complete their education or learn a vocation, soon become pregnant and are completely dependent on their husband in every respect.
In many cases, girls and women are put under pressure by means of physical and psychological violence in order to force through such marriages. It is not uncommon for victims to be lured abroad under the pretext of wanting to visit the family in their parents’ home countries during the holidays in order to marry them there.
The difference between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage, which is legal and in keeping with cultural traditions, is, in reality, not always simple.
Girls and women who have been forcibly married or who are threatened with forced marriage can find help and advice in a variety of languages at the specialist advice centres against forced marriage in Bielefeld and in Cologne as well as at the NRW General Women’s Advice Centre. The specialist advice centre against forced marriage in Bielefeld offers advice online in a number of languages and can also be contacted via the Internet, social media and by mobile phone. Relatives and friends can also get advice here free of charge.
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You can find further information about the state funded specialist advice centres against forced marriage in North Rhine-Westphalia on the website of the Ministry for Regional Identity, Communities and Local Government, Building and Gender Equality for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.