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 years can get married, but this requires a court order.
It is against Australian law to force, threaten or trick anyone into getting married. This applies to legal, cultural and religious marriages.
An arranged marriage, where both people freely consent to get married, is different to a forced marriage. Arranged marriages are legal in Australia.
It is illegal to take or send someone to another country for a forced marriage or get someone else to organise this.
Sometimes people are taken to another country against their will to be forced into a marriage. This is also illegal and can result in imprisonment.
Are you, or is someone you know, at risk?
If you or someone you know is in, or at risk of, a forced marriage, you can contact the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on 131 237 (131AFP) for help.
The AFP can keep you safe, provide initial advice and refer you to other services for support, including accommodation, financial support, counselling and legal and immigration advice.
For more information, visit the AFP website.
There are other services in Australia that can help.
My Blue Sky
For support and free confidential legal advice, contact My Blue Sky, Australia’s national forced marriage service by calling (02) 9514 8115, texting 0481 070 844 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on forced marriage, visit the My Blue Sky website.
1800RESPECT 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 1800RESPECT website.
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:
More information is available on the Department of Home Affairs’ website.