In order to better understand the forced marriage issue, it is important to address frequently asked questions.
Are arranged marriages the same as forced marriages?
All arranged marriages are not forced marriages.
In arranged marriages, families arrange the match. The individuals getting married have a choice of whether or not to marry.
In a forced marriage, the individuals getting married are not given the choice to marry.
Aren’t forced marriages a thing of the past?
Forced marriages are still occurring in Canada and many different parts of the world.
The exact number of forced marriages cases in Canada is not known. Due to stigma and lack of awareness about forced marriages, many people do not report cases of forced marriages.
Why is forced marriage a part of some cultures?
Forced marriage is not a cultural practice.
Forced marriages can occur in any culture, class, religion or area of the world.
Forced marriage is not accepted by any religion or culture.
Who is forced to marry?
Forced marriages happen to people of all ages and gender. While many marriages involve domestic violence and violence against women, many men are also victims of this practice.
Forced marriage also happens to trans-gendered trans-sexual, gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals.
Forced marriages can happen to anyone.
Isn’t forced marriage a private family matter?
Forced marriages are not a private family matter.
Forced marriages violate human rights and international laws.
Parents/caregivers may believe that they are preserving cultural tradition, building stronger families and protecting their children.
Regardless of motives, forced marriage is against the law and is an act of violence.