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Experts warn child bride cases ‘tip of the iceberg’

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With Muslim immigration comes child marriage, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, honor murder, antisemitism, free speech violence ….

It came as new figures showed that almost a third of all police referrals regarding forced marriages were coming from Victoria. 33% of Australia’s Muslim reside in Victoria.

I need not remind readers that Muhammad’s favorite wife, Aisha, was six years old when he married her.

Experts warn child bride cases ‘tip of the iceberg’

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun, May 1, 2017:

REPORTED cases of schoolgirls being forced into marriage are just the tip of the iceberg, experts say.

Federal police have investigated dozens of child bride allegations in Victoria amid more than 100 cases nationwide since the practice was criminalised in 2013.

But experts say many more cases go unreported because young girls fear retribution for speaking out.

Anti-Slavery Australia director Professor Jennifer Burn said young people facing forced marriage were often hesitant to seek help.

“Some young people believe they will be cut off from their families, their parents, siblings and communities,” Professor Burn said.

“Others facing forced marriage wish to protect their family from the shame that could result from a rebuttal of a planned, forced marriage.”

Federal police have investigated dozens of child bride allegations in Victoria

Professor Burn said there was also uncertainty about the help that is available and a lack of awareness generally about Australian law.

“Forced Marriage as a practice is under-researched and under-reported. Little is known about the practice of forced marriage in Australian communities nor is there an evidence base to inform policy development about the most effective prevention strategies,” she said.

“Young people may be unclear about the support that they may receive should they decide to leave the family home.

“These are difficult issues and the best way to avoid forced marriage is through early intervention programs and prevention programs in schools and communities.”

Government funded website My Blue Sky, operated by Anti-Slavery Australia, offers young people a safe way to seek support regarding forced marriages.

Little is known about the practice of forced marriage in Australian communities.

The Herald Sun revealed a Melbourne man was set to be the first person convicted under federal forced marriage laws.

It came as new figures showed almost a third of all police referrals regarding forced marriages were coming from Victoria.

Federal police investigated 69 incidents of forced or underage marriage in the 2015-16 financial year, with 19 investigations launched in Victoria.

The figure more than doubled from the previous financial year.

Last year a 14-year-old Melbourne girl was forced to marry a man more than double her age in a ceremony at a Noble Park mosque.

Her “husband” is currently behind bars awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to illegally marrying the girl.

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