Men Are Victims of Forced Marriage, Too

Unwilling grooms often have few avenues of escape from family pressure
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2008 7:43 AM CST
A woman looks for her keys next to a store decorated with the Turkish and German flags knotted in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, June 24, 2008.    (AP Photo/Franka Bruns)
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(Newser) – Young men in Germany's Turkish immigrant community are being forced into marriage by their families, Der Speigel reports. Organizations that help people escape from such marriages say the focus on female victims overlooks the fact that men are also being harassed, blackmailed and beaten into marriages, often to a close relative. Many are too ashamed or afraid to seek help.

The unwilling grooms, sometimes wayward young men whom families are trying to steer back on the right track, often have few places to turn for escape and face being ostracized from close-knit families if they try. "My father will never speak to me again, that's clear," said one man who went into hiding after abandoning a forced marriage to his first cousin. "But maybe my relationship with my siblings will sort itself out." (Read more Turkey stories.)