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This is due to the high risk victims face when reporting the issue as this often means they have to speak out against their parents and families.From what we know, The Australian Federal Police received 49 referrals in the 2017/18 reporting year which was an increase since forced marriage was criminalised in 2013. It is believed many more people are victims of forced marriage than statistics suggest.

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This has service providers calling for a response to forced marriage outside of the judicial system, where funding is used to help the victims, not the perpetrators."It is always disappointing as a service provider to see the resources going into the criminal justice system response and almost nothing to meet the human need," National Manager for the The Freedom Partnership Jenny Stanger told ten daily.

Recently, both the federal Coalition and Labor have announced new reforms to help victims of a forced marriage.

The proposed changes are welcomed by groups like Good Shepard and The Freedom Partnership, but both believe more funding and a move away from the criminal justice system would best help victims of forced marriage.

Stranger said accommodation for victims is greatly needed.

Forcing someone into marriage has been a criminal offence in Australia since 2013, and now both sides of federal politics have announced new polices to improve facilities to support victims.

While these moves are largely welcomed by professionals in the area, they believe victims need more support to have the courage to leave these situations in a safe and secure way.Forced marriages are often characterised by violence, meaning the victim faces serious danger when they are in a forced marriage and when they try to leave.Central to this danger is the issue of consent."If you don't consent to marriage then effectively you can't consent to sex and so every time that occurs it would be considered sexual assault or rape," Vidal said.‘Each culture, religious, national, and ethnic group have their own unique traditions surrounding marriage and the wedding ceremony’.Australia has many wedding traditions which have been developed and followed by many generations.Coercion and deception can include duress, psychological oppression, abuse of power, detaining a person or taking advantage of their vulnerability.

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