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euronews_529 karma

Actually, there really are many heart-breaking stories! I was told for instance of a 15 year old syrian girl, who had been married to a much older man, was seeking refuge in Belgium, with 2 children.. One woman I interviewed, coming from Guinea, had escaped form a man twice her age, who repeatedly raped her, and wanted to force her to go through female genital mutilation, for the third time in her young life; her father had died, and she was forced to this marraige by her uncle, who dragged her by force to her husband and beat her up anytime she tried to escape..Her life is at threat, so are those of the few family members who helped her... I I met another woman, who became an activist, but had been forced to marry a cousin at 15, was locked up and beaten up because she tried to refuse..It took her years to get out of that situation

euronews_297 karma

Hi, actually, Belgium is one of the first EU countries to have made forced marriage a specific criminal offence, and has set up a comprehensive network of professionals trying to assist forced marriage victims. The belgian authorities really started being sensitized to the issue, after a young woman was killed by her brother in 2007, in a so-called "honor crime", because she refused to be forced into a marriage, and had a belgian boyfriend her family disapproved of..

euronews_256 karma

If you take recently issued figures, according for instance to the International center for research on women, every year, about 15 million girls into marriage, often as young as eight or 10 years old. And that's just for minors. There is indeed a notion of age, and in many countries of the world, there is a legal age for marriage, often 18 years old. But that doesn't prevent forced marriage, whether it concerns minors or adults. In the EU, there are no reliable figures. They vary very much from one country to another, some 2000 cases are reported to be "at threat" for instance in the UK, up to 70000 in France.. Cases which are actually the object of formal complants are very few. and a major reason for such silence is fear. Fear of reprisals, or simply fear of harming the family, being excluded from the community..

euronews_90 karma

It was indeed common practice in many of our western cultures not so long ago, and we've all heard of stories of great-parents or great-grand parents who married who they were told to marry... When it comes to today's forcefully married EU citizens, mostly bi-nationals, the cultural element persists, in the sense that some communities would perpetuate the practice in order not to be absorbed by westernised societies.. then the cultural element is far from being the only factor. In many cases it's a way for people to enter the EU, through family reunification policies; or it can almso be a mere question of money, and that's worse.. I've hear of girls who wer literally "shown", all dressed up,for consecutive weeks, to much older men, and the highest bid won...

euronews_72 karma

Not really directly; the most difficult part was to convince victims to testify. And I was very careful not to give any info which could have gotten them into more trouble. Though those who insisted to speak out openly made a very brave gesture.