A cou­ple forced to marry ev­ery week

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY

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.

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