A refuge for brides from forced marriagesby Letizia Orlandi - 2013.04.02
After years of debate on the issue of forced marriage, Austria is taking the bull by the horns by launching a project to provide emergency refuge for female victims. The crime of forcing someone into marriage is currently punishable with up to five years in prison. The Austrian government is planning the construction of some centres by June and there is state funding of €360,000 for the first six months. The association Orient Express, which is managing the programme, has approved the project, which offers not only accommodation, but also psychological support to overcome the violence experienced. Orient Express declares its intention to help the 200 young women who are forced into marriage each year, to take control of their life and become independent.