Forced marriage or early marriage, is any marriage where at least one of the parties is under 18 years of age. Forced marriages are marriages in which one and/or both parties have not personally expressed their full and free consent to the union. A child marriage is considered to be a form of forced marriage, given that one and/or both parties have not expressed full, free and informed consent.
Know the indicators
Children who have been trafficked for the purpose of forced marraige may:
Come from a community where Forced Marriage and 'Honour' is culturally embedded..
Announce engagement to a stranger not previously mentioned.
Child may be removed from education, preventing further education or extra-curricular activities.
Exhibit noticeable levels of absenteeism, lateness – school, college or employment.
Feel like an element of 'surveillance' and control by their family or community members.
Display significant personality changes and appear depressed, withdrawn, anxious or suicidal.
There may be noticeable deterioration in the victim's self-esteem and appearance.
Run away, go missing from home or have a fear of returning home.
Talk about a family holiday abroad and may seem anxious about this.
Fail to return home from a visit to the family's country of origin.
Present with early and/or unwanted pregnancy.
Self-harm or attempt suicide, particularly in the early stages of marriage.
Report domestic incidents or crimes at the family home. The fact that a victim was forced to marry may only reveal itself years after the marriage has taken place.
Appear to be dominated - subject to financial control, no access to mobile phone, internet etc.
Are you worried about a child?
You can report anonymously by calling the Garda Confidential Hotline or emailing Blue Blindfold
1800 666 111or