Melbourne schoolgirl's distress over forced marriage

Fears there are more cases going unreported

Fears there are more cases going unreported

Refugee advocates have revealed a Melbourne schoolgirl is being forced into a marriage against her will.

In further evidence of the battle against illegal marriages raised on 3AW Drive last week, Tom Elliott was told of a "very distressed" 16-year-old's plea for help to authorities.

Victoria Police have expressed concerns over the number of such cases going unreported in the state (more HERE). 

Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition executive director Melba Marginson told Tom Elliott she became aware of the case after being contacted by a school social worker. 

"The student is very distressed," Ms Marginson said. 

"The mother is forcing her to marry someone."

The cross-cultural consultant said young girls that are faced with forced marriage will suffer in their schooling. 

She has planned a meeting with the social worker, the student, and a community leader. 

"We are going to go through her experience," Ms Marginson said. 

"We have to give her a lot of information about what options she can take."

She intends to negotiate eventually with the student's mother and educate the community at large about the relevant Australian laws.

LISTEN:  Melba Marginson speaking with Tom Elliott

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