Forced marriages in NorwayForced marriages in Norway
"You and you and you and you are witnesses to the fact that I must now kill my daughter in order to regain the honor of this family," says an Iraqi man, apparently to four people, in Norway. You see, his 17-year-old daughter kept trying to divorce the native Iraqi to whom she was forced to marry, which would be a major scandal in the family. A report released by the Human Rights Service on Tuesday revealed that there has been an sharp increase in arranged marriages for second-generation compared to first-generation immigrants in Norway. Forced marriages are a huge problem here. I used to volunteer at the International Red Cross in Oslo, and around three years ago, I helped with some translation work for the Forced Marriages Hot-Line they run. Many of the calls they receive are from young second-generation girls who fear their parents are going to marry them off when they visit "the homeland" during their summer vacations from school. This is a critical situation, because once the families are abroad, there is virtually nothing the Red Cross or anyone can do to help the girl. If the family wants her to marry uncle Aqbah, then she's probably going to have to go through with it, unless she manages against all odds to run away, hitchhike from her village and make it to a Norwegian Embassy or to a women's shelter, which is pretty unlikely. And, thanks to disturbingly lenient family reunion laws in Norway, uncle Aqbah usually gets to join the family back to Norway, where he can screw his young niece/wife to his heart's content.
Court cracks down on forced marriage
A court in Drammen has issued its first ruling against forced marriages. It handed down prison terms for the father and brother of a 17-year-old Norwegian girl after they threatened her into marrying a man from Northern Iraq. The city court in Drammen sentenced the girl's father to 10 months in jail after he threatened her life and physically abused her. Her brother was sentenced to eight months in prison for similar threats. Some of the threats had been made in the presence of Norwegian social workers. "The family believes its Kurdish honor has been destroyed dbecause of this case."