Forced, Servile, and Arranged Marriage and their Relationship with Family Violence within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities in South Australia: Final report

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Forced marriage and partner-visa servitude (‘servile marriage’), particularly in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, may contribute to ongoing domestic and family violence, and are classified as a crime under the modern slavery legal umbrella. Identifying forced marriage is hindered by the blurring of arranged and forced marriages, which may lead to cultural practices overriding an individual’s ‘free and full’ consent to a marriage. Further, the misidentification of the nature of the marriage as a family violence within these communities continues to hinder women’s access to the appropriate Federal Government’s Support for Trafficked People Program (Support Program) and constructive justice system responses.

Despite it being ten years since the Federal Parliament criminalised forced marriage in Australia in 2013, primary research findings on the nature and extent of forced marriage in various Australian CALD communities remains limited, and near non-existent in South Australia. Barriers to both empirical research and the implementation of responsive law are to be attributed to the invisibility of the crime. The identification of incidents of forced and servile marriage in Muslim communities are marred by factors, such as, victim’s loyalty to third-party instigators of these marriages, usually family members, and lack of knowledge of Australian and Islamic law. This crime is a gendered issue with many women and girls forced into marriages or subjected to a form of domestic, labour and/or sexual servitude once married.

This study is focused on community crime prevention, embraces a culturally competent approach, and, most saliently, aims to contribute to safer multicultural communities, especially for women and young people in Adelaide and South Australia. The main project aims were:
• to investigate the relationship between forced marriage, partner-visa servitude (‘servile marriage’), arranged marriage and family violence in the Muslim migrant communities
in SA as observed by community members, professionals, and leaders; and
• to produce knowledge for Australian communities and state / national government to respond to forced / servile marriages more effectively.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherLaw Foundation of South Australia Inc.
Number of pages37
Place of PublicationAdelaide, South Australia
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Project contributors: Lewis Lock-Weir, Cassandra Alvey and Inzah Masood.

Keywords

  • Arranged marriage
  • Forced marriage
  • Servile marriage
  • Partner violence
  • Muslim community culture

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