A couple forced to marry every week
A FORCED marriage case is being referred to federal authorities every week in Australia, but there has not been a single criminal conviction over the past six years.
And experts fear this may just be the “tip of the iceberg”, with many victims too afraid to engage in Australia’s legal system to escape.
The figures have sparked renewed calls for a dedicated “forced marriages unit” based on the UK model, while one Coalition MP wants new migrants to be made to study “100 hours of what it means to be an Australian citizen”.
Since it was criminalised at a Commonwealth level in 2013, only one case has made it to the prosecution stage.
Despite a total of 292 cases being referred to the Australian Federal Police, there has not been one conviction recorded, new data reveals.
Last financial year, there were 61 referrals to the AFP.
These include a young woman who was forced to marry a man against her wishes, while her family hired security guards at the wedding to keep her boyfriend away.