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Viewpoints > Forced marriage: what to do?
The source of information on this page is:
Maison de Quartier des Linandes - Place des Linandes beiges - 95000 Cergy
Te. : 01 30 31 55 76 Fax : 01 30 32 84 67
Email : voixdefemmes@wanadoo.fr

What is a forced marriage?

It is to be forced to marry a person known or unknown against one's will.
The practice of forced marriages goes against the liberty of conscience. It is to ignore the lifestyle choices of these young women.
This practice is a form of discrimination.
It is also a psychological and physical violence which leads to numerous difficulties:

Psychological and physical suffering

Loss of confidence in oneself and in others, potentially destroying emotional anchors and autonomy.
The risk of family conflicts, even a complete rupture with the family and circle of friends.
Psychological distress leading to depression and eventually suicide because it is difficult to choose between cutting all ties with your family and accepting an unwanted marriage.
Loss of cultural and familial identity despite the love and respect a young woman has for her parents.

Material difficulties
Finding housing, even a temporary shelter, looking for or keeping a job, and continuing studies is difficult. Placed in front of the fait accompli, sometimes in danger and without financial resources, the young women must deal with everything to preserve her autonomy. Once a young woman expresses her disagreement, her papers are sometimes confiscated. She finds herself in an even more precarious material situation.

Legal problems

The problems aren't always limited to before the marriage but also after… It is possible to ask for support or a recourse concerning divorce, annulment of the marriage, or for problems with papers.

Here, what to do?

Where to go to speak with someone?
As a measure of precaution
If you cannot go yourself, you can have your situation presented by someone close to you; a friend, a social worker, a professor, a psychologist, a teacher, a mediator, a counselor from the Mission Locale or any other trustworthy person.

To obtain protection

In the case of a forced marriage, you can write to the State Prosecutor (Procureur de la République) on your own initiative. Minor or young adult (until the eve of your 21st birthday), you can also write to the Juvenile Court Judge yourself or call the telephone number 119 (anonymous and free). If you would like to be helped in this procedure, contact a specialized association.
(See useful addresses)

It is useful
Photocopy all important documents: identity card, living permit (carte de séjour), passport, school certificates, Social Security card (carte Vitale) and all other documents that you believe can be useful.
Leave these documents in a secure place: a friend, and association…
Gather documents (medical certificates, witness statements from people close to you, various attestations …) which prove that you are in danger.
Rapidly contact one or several associations.
In the case of confiscation or the destruction of your papers, file a declaration of loss or file a complaint for theft against X if you don't wish to name the people involved.

And there?

In the case of a hasty departure "on vacation"
An adult woman (if she is a minor, the mother or the father who opposes this marriage) can, in certain situations, make a written request forbidding an exit visa (by specifying the time, the date of the flight and her identity: contact the police).
Be advised that even at the last minute, a young woman can alert customs or the border police or airport immigration who should protect her.

It is never too late

Who to alert:

French embassies or consulates, no matter what the nationality of the young woman. Even as a foreign national, she can obtain a return visa with her foreigner number which appears on her alien resident permit.

Legal authorities or an attorney in order to file a complaint for sequestration, start divorce proceedings or annulations of the marriage.
The family code in most countries requires the consent of each of the spouses who have the right to refuse the marriage.

Attention be advised that:

If a young woman resides more than 3 consecutives years outside of French territory, she loses her right to live in France. And this is the case even if it is noted on her alien resident permit "valid 10 years" (valable 10 ans).

Useful Addresses

Here is a list of useful addresses

And more:

In Ile de France

Voix de femmes : 01 30 31 55 76
Maison de quartier des Linandes
Place des Linandes beiges
95000 Cergy

AFAVO : 01 30 32 41 28
Association des Femmes Africaines du Val d'Oise
8, chemin de la Surprise
95800 Cergy St Christophe

CIDFF : 01 34 41 42 93
Centre d'Information des Droits des Femmes et des Familles
SAN Parvis de la Préfecture BP 122
95022 Cergy Cedex

Du Côté des Femmes : 01 30 73 51 52
31 rue du chemin de fer
95800 Cergy St Christophe

MDJ : 01 30 38 45 15
Maison de la Justice et du Droit
12 rue crève-Cœur
95800 Cergy St Christophe

Mission Locale : 01 34 41 70 70
Point Santé Jeunes
18 rue de la Bastide - Imm. Le Sextant Hall B
95800 Cergy St Christophe

MFPF : 01 30 30 26 66
Mouvement Français pour le Planning Familial
Tour bleue des Cerclades
95800 Cergy-Préfecture

ASFAD : 01 53 79 18 73
Association de Solidarité avec les Femmes Algériennes Démocrates
94 boulevard Massena - 9 villa d'Este
75013 Paris

Elélé, Migrations et Cultures de Turquie : 01 43 57 76 28
26 rue de la Pierre levée
75011 Paris

GAMS : 01 43 48 10 87
Section Française du Comité Inter-africain
66 rue des Grands-Champs
75020 Paris

Voix d'Elles Rebelles : 01 48 22 93 29
Cité Gabriel Péri - 1 place Lautréamont
93200 St-Denis

Les Nanas Beurs
70 rue Castéja
92100 Boulogne

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