If you are in a forced marriage or are worried you are going to be forced to marry, please know that help is available, and that you are not alone.
You may be scared and unsure of your future, and confused about your feelings and duties. You can get help by contacting one of the numbers on this page.
It doesn’t matter what your age is; what country or family background you come from; whether you are male or female; or what your culture or religion is – nobody is allowed to force you to get married against your will.
How to get help if you are going overseas
If you have been forced to marry overseas, or someone is planning for you to marry overseas against your will, there are people overseas who can help. Remember it is against the law to force someone to marry in Australia and the laws can apply to Australians who force someone to marry overseas.
There are Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates in many countries. You can contact the one nearest to you if you need help.
Find an Australian Embassy
There are Australian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates in many countries. If you have trouble finding the right one you can always call the 24 hour Consular Emergency Centre in Australia from anywhere in the world, on +61 2 6261 3305 or you can send a text to +61 421 269 080 if you need help. Reverse charges apply if you need.
What to think about before going overseas
If you suspect something is not right and you do not want to go overseas because you think you will be forced to marry, call the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on 131 237. Once you are overseas, it will be much harder to get help.
You can also contact the 24/7 Consular Emergency Centre at 1300 555 135 for advice or SMS at +61 421 269 080. If you have no choice but to go overseas, try to take these things with you.
Please leave a copy of your passport, itinerary, and contact information with a trusted friend/family member while you are overseas
Tell your trusted friend/family member how often you expect to be in contact with them so that if they don’t hear from you they can tell someone you might need help
Some money in the local currency of the country where you are going
Some money in Australian dollars
A spare mobile phone (with international roaming)
A photocopy of your passport and airline tickets
The Consular Emergency Centre’s contact information (+61 2 62613015 or you can SMS +61 421 269 080 if you need help)
Contact Information to the Nearest Australian Mission.
This include the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to the country you are visiting
An example of a forced marriage overseas
A 16 year old Australian girl, Jasmine,
went to visit her grandparents in a country with no Australian Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate. She did not know that her parents had arranged for her to marry a 35-year old cousin. Jasmine told her family she did not want to marry.
Jasmine was subjected to abuse,
verbal and physical, by her family. They took her passport and tickets so she could not return to Australia. However, she was able to contact the 24 hour Consular Emergency Centre in Australia to get help.
The Australian Government,
was able to get in touch with Jasmine’s close friends and trusted family members (who were not involved in planning the marriage) in Australia who helped to bring Jasmine home, where she received further support.
Jasmine was lucky,
however, not all cases of forced marriage end so well. There are also limits on what the Australian Government can do to help and it also depends on the circumstances of each case and on the country that you are in, but the Government will do it’s very best to help you.