Dark figure higher – 54 suspected cases of forced marriage in Austria


According to child and youth care, 54 suspected cases of forced marriage have been officially reported in 2021. This is evident from a research report published on Tuesday by the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF).

“Child and youth care usually supports people up to the age of 18. However, many victims of forced marriage are older and are not registered in this context. As a result of the study, it can be assumed that there are a total of about 200 cases of forced marriages per year in Austria, so these estimates are validated,” said study author Birgitt Haller, scientific director of the Institute for Conflict Research.

Forced marriages mainly because of traditional gender roles
Forced marriages are therefore usually based on tradition or culture. “Often forced marriages are performed on the basis of traditional gender concepts or the concept of honor, for example to control girls’ sexuality or to restore ‘honour’ after rape, for example. The financial security of the parents or those affected themselves, for example when it comes to girls with learning difficulties or a physical disability, often also plays a role,” says Haller.

The research shows that there are three groups that can become victims of forced marriage:

  • Second and third generation girls and young women with Austrian citizenship. They are often forced to drop out of school or their education to avoid becoming economically independent.
  • Women who have been brought to Austria from their country of origin for the purpose of forced marriage. Women in this group are even more dependent. Not only do they usually have no education, they also do not speak German and are socially isolated because they have no social network to fall back on in Austria.
  • The third group are women in various (pre)stages of the asylum procedure and unaccompanied minor refugees.

Source: Krone


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