Can love happen in arranged marriages

Forced marriage is one of the crimes that is done in the name of honor, because if a woman rejects the proposed husband, violence and even murder can result. It is very difficult to draw the line between arranged marriage and forced marriage, because a girl who rejects the proposed man is very likely to be coerced into consent by subtle means or even violence.

Many young women are seen as cheap labor in the household of their parents-in-law, they cannot finish school, learn a trade and remain dependent on their husbands in every respect. They are forced into sexual services and cannot decide for themselves about their pregnancy, which often takes place too early. The forcibly married women suffer from depression and psychosomatic illnesses. Many are traumatized for life.

Who can be affected by a forced marriage?

Girls and women who are forcibly married often come from families in which other relatives have already been forcibly married. They often have a migration background and in many cases are still minors. The majority of them grew up in Germany, have German citizenship and are well integrated into social life. Many girls and women who are forcibly married are no longer allowed to attend school or finish their training. Arranged marriages cannot always be clearly distinguished from forced marriages. The point of view of the affected woman or girl is always decisive. Because what is understood as compulsion always depends on the personal assessment.

What means do the perpetrators use to enforce a forced marriage?

Forced marriage always constitutes a violation of a person's personal rights. The perpetrators are usually male relatives of the girls and women affected. In order to enforce the marriage, the girls and women are often put under psychological pressure, insulted, blackmailed and monitored. Physical violence in the form of beatings and mistreatment is also part of the perpetrators' repertoire. In some cases, the perpetrators lured those affected by pretexts abroad in order to marry them off there and to separate them from their social environment.

Where can I find help and advice?

Girls and women who have been forcibly married or are threatened with forced marriage can turn to a women's advice center with any questions. Relatives, friends and specialists can also get advice here.