Forced Marriage: Community Voices, Stories and Strategies

Forced Marriage: Community Voices, Stories and Strategies

The Australian Red Cross recently launched their report Forced Marriage: Community Voices, Stories and Strategies, which can be accessed on the Red Cross website. Red Cross’s experience working with individuals and communities impacted by forced marriage has shown that across many communities, there are members who are applying appropriate and effective strategies to negotiate good outcomes and find solutions to this issue. When explored, understood and strengthened, these community-led strategies and approaches have the potential to support and strengthen broader government and sector initiatives and create a space for a stronger and more inclusive response.

The report highlights the important role that communities and families themselves play in finding solutions to the complex issues they face. Notable findings from the report include:

  • Four broad strategies communities use to negotiate and prevent forced marriage;
  • The identification of various pressures people face;
  • The identification of inter-generational conflict as a key factor;
  • An more enabling environment within which people seek support is needed;
  • The prevention of and response to forced marriage must take into consideration the needs and strengths of the whole family.

Red Cross recognises the significant steps that have been taken to-date by Government, civil society and communities to better identify and protect those affected by forced marriage in Australia. Red Cross anticipates that this report will serve as inspiration and encouragement to begin and continue open dialogue with communities affected by the issue of forced marriage and further inform policy discussion, through bringing attention to the valuable strategies identified by community.

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