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Yet the report points out that the Department of Foreign Affairs “confirmed they had provided assistance” to just 34 individuals from 2009 to 2012.Forced marriage always involves pressure to wed against a person’s will, under physical or emotional duress, or without free and informed consent, according to definitions from international law and human rights groups.She says her husband bribed her children to stay with him, but, in 1986, she obtained custody of her two daughters, then 14 and 10, and went on to study at Montreal’s Dawson College and Concordia University to become a counsellor for abused women and children.

She made Marsh wear a tight, low-cut white dress bought for the outings. I’ve always preferred to be covered up,” Marsh says.

“But my mother really wanted me to be attractive to these men.” Marsh’s mother had rejected all the suitors up to that day in 1970 when she announced the match. This wasn’t a woman that you said no to.” Marsh thought about the leather strap hanging by the front door, the one her mother used when the children—Marsh was the eldest of four—dared to defy her.

In some nations, such as Norway, Belgium, Pakistan and the United Kingdom, forced marriage is a crime.

Next year, Canada is expected to join that list when Bill S-7, which adds forced marriage to the Criminal Code, is approved.

5, when Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced S-7, the “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act,” he introduced a three-pronged piece of legislation to address the problem at home and abroad.