What is a Forced marriage?
Forced marriage is one without the informed consent of one or both parties. This brings with it many issues including those of safeguarding, as there are girls as young as 11 who have been forced into marriages. The pressure young girls feel is something so difficult for them to comprehend, being at such a vulnerable age and being surrounded by constant threats and violence at an age where one should be protected. The effects lead to further longer lasting consequences.
Some of the issues we have supported girls/young women through are:
Low self esteem | No confidence | Eating disorders
Attempted suicide | Self harm | Drugs and alcohol misuse
Feeling withdrawn, confusion, or anger
Being under duress includes physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse and/or pressure. Some victims of forced marriages are tricked into going to another country by their families. Victims fall prey to forced marriage through deception, abduction, coercion, fear, and inducements.
Victims of forced marriages could include children, young people, females with disabilities/mental health issues and women with no recourse to public funds.
This reiterates the need for joint working for professionals; no service can be effective in isolation. Therefore the need to develop networks and providing a holistic support is essential for any support to be affective, as one support need often links into another.