Forced and Early Marriage factsheet

Forcing anybody to get married is a serious crime in Australia

In Australia, people are free to choose whether to get married. Usually, a person must be over 18 years of age to be legally married. In some circumstances a person over the age of 16 can get married, but this requires a court order.

A person must agree to the marriage without being forced or tricked.

An arranged marriage, where both people freely consent to get married, is different to a forced marriage.  Arranged marriages are legal in Australia.

If you or someone you know is in danger call the police on 000.

Police in Australia are safe and can be trusted.

For free, confidential counselling and information call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

If you need a free interpreter call 131 450.

It is illegal to take or send someone to another country for forced marriage or get someone else to organise this

Forced and early marriage is sometimes linked with moving people to another country or across borders against their will, and this is illegal.

Are you, or is someone you know, at risk?

Call the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on 131 237. The AFP can provide initial advice and refer victims of forced and early marriage or human trafficking for support, including accommodation, financial support, counselling and legal advice.

For more information follow the link to the AFP website at

There are other services in Australia that can help

1800 RESPECT is Australia’s National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling service. It provides free, confidential telephone and online counselling and information. Counsellors will listen to you, answer questions and can refer you to other support services in your local area.

Call 1800 737 732 or go to the 1800 RESPECT website at

Do you need an interpreter?

Call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) for free on 131 450. TIS can help you to communicate with other services. TIS does not provide counselling.

For more information on forced marriage and human trafficking

Follow the link to the Attorney-General’s Department website at

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