• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Nearly half of forced marriage brides German

The Local · 9 Nov 2011, 11:23

Published: 09 Nov 2011 11:23 GMT+01:00

The study, commissioned by the Ministry for Family Affairs, threw up a number of surprises, as well as confirming much that is already known about forced marriages, said the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday which had advance access to the report, due to be launched the same day.

Nearly all of those concerned came from migrant families, with the most common country of origin of the parents being Turkey, followed by the former Yugoslavia and Iraq, according to the report.

More than 80 percent of the parents concerned were Muslim, while nearly 10 percent were Yazidist, a Kurdish religion, and more than three percent were Christians.

Yet the study’s authors, from the Hamburg-based Lawaetz Foundation and the women’s organisation Terre des Femmes, warned against regarding the problem as an Islamic one – factors such as tradition, images of masculinity and poverty should not be ignored, they stressed.

The 160-page report was based on information from 830 advice centres across the country, which had helped around 3,400 people in 2008 – as well as accounts from schools and migrant organisations.

This could skew the apparent share of Germans among those reported, as they might be more likely to approach such organisations than people who had only been in the country a short while and did not have good German language skills.

The victims of forced marriage said it was their fathers who exerted the most pressure upon them.

The authors said it was notable that forced marriages also featured in families where the father had professional training or had graduated from high school – more than six percent of those examined.

Yet in general the fathers had the average educational levels of their migrant peers and nearly 90 percent of the victims’ mothers had no formal education.

The main motive for the forced marriage was the image of the family, the victims reported – it was often a mechanism to stop unwanted friendships and even as a reaction to the homosexuality of a child – around five percent of those concerned were male.

Around a quarter of the victims said they were threatened with death, while more than half said their relatives used violence against them and more than 70 percent said threats and blackmail were used to push them into marriages they did not want.

Story continues below…

The government’s Integration Commissioner Maria Böhmer told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that last year's criminalisation of forced marriages and right of return for people forced into marriages abroad who previously would have lost their German residency permit for being away for too long, must be better advertised among the migrant community in Germany.

“We need to offer more advice and help, to men as well,” she told the paper, and called for teachers to be able to react better to signs of a forced marriage among their pupils.

“Forced marriage must play a greater role in teacher training in the future,” said Böhmer, while also calling for more action from the countries where the forced marriages are conducted.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:11 November 9, 2011 by raandy
This is rather shocking, i had no idea forced marriages were in this great a number in Germany. Sad.

This really points out the great divide in cultures.
12:44 November 9, 2011 by twisted
As a foreigner living in Germany, obviously I am not totally familiar with all of the various rules and laws of the country, but I was under the impression that all marriages that take place in Germany must be performed by an official of the Standesamt. If that is the case, how is it possible for forced marriages to take place? Isn¦#39;t a marriage license required and the age of the potential bride checked? Is the question asked of the bride-to-be, if she is entering into the marriage willingly? Marriages performed by religious leaders who are not licensed in Germany should not be honored as legal and the person performing the marriage ceremony prosecuted.

Obviously, marriages performed outside of Germany are beyond the control of German officials, but certainly, it would seem, that if a bride is underage according to German law and especially if she is a German citizen, the marriage should not be recognized by the authorities and the so called bride (non-German) refused entry into the country.
13:11 November 9, 2011 by raandy
Generally all foreign marriages are automatically recognized in Germany. The age of consent in Germany is 14 and 16 for marriage. It is 18 however in Turkey. Getting married outside of Germany is rarely a problem unless a formal complaint is lodged by one of the persons.
14:19 November 9, 2011 by strahlungsamt
No! No! We must be tolerant of other cultures and their ways. Just because you don't like their little customs doesn't mean you have the right to criticize them. You need to accept the differences of others. Remember, we live in the 21st century now.

Where's your Liberal tolerance now?
18:07 November 9, 2011 by SockRayBlue
I always thought a "forced marriage" was when a woman got pregnant and her daddy stood behind you with a shotgun at your wedding.

Oh, how things change.
19:35 November 9, 2011 by Loth
I have a question. If sharia law is accepted will it be legal in Germany and elsewhere to have 4 underage wife's? Maybe forced marriages? Just asking.
19:58 November 9, 2011 by internationalwatch
These Nazis got nothing else to do besides creating and promoting anti-Islam propaganda. A lot of other extremist Christians do the same thing, y does no body give a f**k about them???
20:33 November 9, 2011 by ovalle3.14
As much as I support the idea of self-determination, we do live in a country where forced marriage is ilegal. If you want to do it, be my guest but do it where it's legal.
04:48 November 10, 2011 by shiraz
This sort of abuse is very common in Islamic households. Not just Turkey but in Pakistan and the middle East is worse where the girls actually are eager for such things and complicit as early as 12/13(Turkey is actually very MODERN compared to the rest of the lands). This has been going on for centuries . When this happened to my own family members no one cared (sister married off at 16 &13). Attempts to protest and sever contact this resulted in one's own parents forcibly holding one under house arrest (for months - taking away passport).

Even now as an adult one is subjected to the same treatment but who will believe us? we are grown adults right? We are "free" right? No one cares about the abuse suffered by children. You go to the mosque and the Imam says it is not his business and prays "Hide our faults, Allah". Well the faults have been hidden for centuries not just here but everywhere.

One was free briefly or so one thought but someone doesn't like to see us be on our own or be free or to assimilate. One asked a girl this question and she said "You don't understand" and just went quiet. Now I know these people must be sorcerers and must have minions who harass us. Either way we are ill equipped to handle the modern world (those of us who try to break free). We either destroy ourselves or end up harming others because we have been raised to be dependent on tyrants. They track us down, drag us back and abuse men and women (grown and young) and no one cares. All this goes on in the name of "culture" and "religion" and "family". Criminals , mobsters and abusers of the weak are too strong. If you say anything then some start making trouble, rioting, death threats , terrorist attacks. Sometimes one thinks that people in the west want a part of the population to be enslaved and abused so they may have someone to exploit.
09:56 November 10, 2011 by Carlos Hausner
@strahlungsamt

Quite right. These girls have a clear choice, either marry or die at the hands of their relatives. Honour killings are, therefore, merely a form of suicide. No need to offend any ethnic sensitivities at all. "Move along now, nothing to see here ...."
11:31 November 10, 2011 by catjones
The4 article makes clear that 2% of the 50% represent 10% of the lower 20% which is why 100% of the comments pertain to the 0% we commonly call the facts.
05:02 November 11, 2011 by shiraz
Take my earlier comment back : let's hope we unite as human beings and take a stance against all wrong doing (all of us): be it child brides or arranged marriages or use of societal, parental , communal, ethnic pressure.
19:31 November 11, 2011 by Highveld Drifter
¦quot;Forced marriage must play a greater role in teacher training in the future,¦quot;

I so agree, forced marriages are a great training aid in the professional development of German teachers. I think that a committee needs to be formed to identify other areas where behavior can be forced. Imagine the possibilities for this!

In a recent poll Germans were asked:

Would you prefer to be:

a) required

b) forced

c) subject to involuntary actions by the local, state, church,and federal authorities

d) have all personal decisions subject to mandatory review by your "case committee"

e) all of the above

Answer: e)

Postscript: There were several write-in comments from participants in the poll that indicated that they would agree with these sanctions but only if strictly enforced.
17:33 November 12, 2011 by Englishted
@internationalwatch,

Please feel free to name the extreme christian faiths that are joining their muslim brothers in these foul practices within Germany ?.

So we can believe that this is not just "anti-Islam propaganda."

Also to which Nazis are you referring?

and why do you feel the need to swear?
23:10 November 15, 2011 by oiitsme
well said Englishted! Thank you!
Today's headlines
The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Germany's 'James Bond' goes on trial over tax evasion
Werner Mauss. Photo: DPA.

Germany's former top spy, Werner Mauss, went on trial on Monday accused of hiding millions of euros from authorities.

Germany holds first national 'mermaiding' championship
Photo: DPA

Ariel would be proud.

Gallery
15 pics that prove Germany is totally enchanting in autumn
The Max-Eyth-See in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

As summer fades into a distant memory and you start to begrudge trading Birkenstocks for boots, these pictures may help change your perspective on the new chill in the air.

Left politician who smuggled refugee could lose immunity
Diether Dehm. Photo: DPA.

Die Linke (Left Party) politician Diether Dehm could lose his immunity as an elected official after he admitted to smuggling a refugee into Germany.

Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record in Berlin marathon win
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,513
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd