What to do if I think my friend is forced into marriage?

One girl in my class ( she isn't my close friend, we talk rarely) will get married soon probably.

She is only 17 and Muslim, her parents are from Iran . I became to know that she will go there to meet one boy and maybe marry him.

I don't know it it's legal, can 17 years old girl marry? and I don't know if she is forced to it but I wish I can help her. What do you think I can do?

Even if she isn't forced she shouldn't marry so early, don't you think?


0|0
2|9

Most Helpful Girl

  • Yeah...I know what you are talking about. I come from an area that ha a large Muslim population, and when I was in high school, many girls were engaged or married. In fact, I was raised Muslim (I no longer follow any religion, because I think it's just a way to control people, among other things...I have a brain, and I can think for myself). I used to actually be one of those people tht defended Muslim traditions and tried to help non-Muslims understand...but then after doing that for so long, I realized this is a bunch of utter B.S.

    In their culture, it really is what the girls expect...not out of the norm for them...and yes, that doesn't mean it is right. I don't believe the complete b.s. that lovw comes after marriage...funny..my mom always says that...and I'm 100% sure my parents never have loved each other...they can't stand each other. I'm not sure there is anything you can do besides just talking to her.

    This Islamic culture is very closely knit, so they try and preserve a girl and not allow outside influences. Trust me, my rents did it with me...I got a full paid scholarship to university, including living in a dorm free for a year, but they would not let me move away. In fact...km in my late twenties...still not married, but I live a home because of that. I'm trying to get out though...and hopefully they don't find ou about my Jewish boyfriend, lol...but it comes to a point when parents control their child's life so much that the kid stops caring...hopefully your friend will not marry and have time to think for herself before its too late

    1|0
    0|0
    • you see for me it was kinda shocking, because I'm also 17 and think about education, fun with friends.. nobody of my friends dreams about marriage now, that's why I started thinking..maybe she is forced. I can't be sure but I will try to talk with her. Maybe she can wait 3 years, because at age 17 we are still teenagers do we really know what we want? marriage is important decision. She also doesn't go for any class trips, discos, maybe it's because her parents are controlling?

    • I have nothing against Muslims, other cultures , other religions.. I am sometimes shocked by some traditions, it doesn't mean I'm against Muslims. We tend to agree with every traditions because we are afraid to be called "racists" maybe or closed minded people..

      I wish you can get out from home soon :) and maybe go to university, it's never too late;) all the best

What Guys Said 9

  • You'll have to tell where you live, and where your friend intend to live if we're going to say anything about the legal situation. In many countries it is perfectly legal to marry at 17, although you may have to have your parents approval. In other places it is illegal to marry until later.

    0|0
    0|0
    • we live in denmark, but is this normal to marry at that age?

    • Show All
    • and do you think she may be forced? maybe she can't say no ? I don't even know her well maybe she wants it, but does girl at age 17 really know what she wants?

    • Assuming that she is danish citizen, the child welfare authorities in denmark will have a few things to say if this is a forced marriage. A forced marriage will be nulled in Denmark if she chooses to report it, but that will probably be difficult if her parents are in on it. Going against your parents at 17 isn't the easisest thing in the world. There is not much you can do, except that if you do suspect force, and she is a danish citizen (and not also iranian citizen) then you should report it.

  • If both parents give their permission she can marry.

    Like everyone else wrote, yes she is too young. The only thing she can do is tell a cleric that she doesn't want to be married. I don't know if that would help.

    I know a guy that had an arranged marriage. Unfortunately I think they hate each other. One can only hope that they start out liking each other & it grows into love.

    0|0
    0|0
  • If she is planning to stay there in Iran then it is a perfectly legal and accepted practice. In that country a girl can get married at 16. As for the part about it possibly being a forced or arranged marriage, that is also unfortunately a common practice in most Muslim countries and the authorities would probably side with her parents. If she moves back to Denmark that will it least make it easier legally for her to get a divorce if things go badly.

    0|0
    0|0
    • is any way I can help her? I feel it's not good what her parents do,

    • Show All
    • What you are describing is the modern western ideal of marriage. And while I agree with it, their culture does not. You can try to have a discussion with her about what marriage means to you, that it can be for love and that there is no rush. That she has a right to end it if it doesn't make her happy. But what happens is ultimately up to her and her parents.

    • well thanks;) I will try to talk with her. I can do only this.. but I would feel bad just if I won't become to know if everything's OK with her and she wants it.. I really could help her if she doens't want this marriage or at least try. If she isn't then I would be calm that I asked..

  • It's very legal, I met a 21 year old with a one year old baby in my College class, and she was gorgeous too. It's not uncommon, and it's tradition there. You shouldn't interfere with it, but if she's not too happy about it, well then there's a problem.

    1|0
    0|0
    • everyone say it's ok.. it's their culture.. seems we would accept evertyhing what other cultures do just to not be called "racists" . She is 17 only, I will just try to talk with her that's all. Why can't I do it? maybe she doens't want this marriage , even if it's tradition doesn't mean it's good tradition.

    • Show All
    • i won't force her to anything.. I want only know if she wan't this marriage. and if no then I'm going to help her . Because it's hard to believe that 17 years old girl, raised in Denmark would want to marry boy from Iran , maybe move to Iran where I believe girls don't have many rights. She should have chance to fall in love and have normal life like others girl here .. she should decide by her own not listen to her parents.

    • I completely agree with you. I can tell you right now if I had a religion like that, I'd refuse it and pick who I wanted to marry myself.

  • She most certainly is being forced into marriage.

    Islam is the most controlling religion and way of thinking which exists and perhaps nothing even more crazy will appear, and especially when it comes to women.

    The chances are that what she thinks is not even being considered.

    The very first thing you gotta do is to talk to her about it.

    0|1
    2|0
  • Thats normal...Qaran women (Muslims) have all kinds of weird rules

    0|0
    0|0
  • At least talk with her about it.

    0|0
    0|0
  • It is legal for a woman in America to marry at 17 if they have their parents permission. Or at least it is legal in some states. Just 100 years ago it was nothing for girls much younger than 17 to get married. So saying that she is too young really is subjective. Many people have married young and gone on to live happy lives.

    If she was brought up to expect this, then she might not care as much as you think she does. To her it might just be a normal part of life. If she doesn't want to go through with it then she may need some type of help. Since she is still a minor, I don't know how much power she would have to stop it. She may have to resort to emancipation in order to escape her situation. That would likely destroy any relationship she would ever have with her parents though. She might not be willing to go through with that. It can be scary to a 17 year old to be out on their own with no one to help them.

    0|0
    0|0
  • I would keep my nose out of others' business...

    4|0
    1|0

What Girls Said 1

  • Sweetheart, that's completely normal for a Muslim girl that they start searching for a good husband for her at that age. You know, in the end, parents know best. And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, and I honestly advice you not to interfere with it since you're not even friends.

    And knowing people nowadays, she can say no if she doesn't want him. And the reason we (I'm a Muslim girl, too) marry early is because dating in forbidden, and that way they want to ensure that we stay on the "right path". And also, that ensures that they can be parents at their twenties, which in my opinion is really good, since nowadays women don't get kids until they're too old to take care of them.

    I know many girls that are married (and they married at a young age), and none of them complains about her life. :)

    1|1
    1|1
    • how can parents know bests? does parents know who she loves?

      i'm just afraid she won't go to school anymore ( and she has good notes could go to university) , she never goes for class trips or discos or just don't go out with us after school . That's why she doesn't have many friends , we see her only at school. I feel something is wrong but maybe I'm wrong. I thought maybe is any institution which helps girls in such situations.

    • Show All
    • i want to talk with her honestly, if she says she is happy and wants it I won't do anythign it. But if she says she doesn't want, have doubts then yes I can help her. I could even take her my home and I could invorm government , they should help her. I would find a way to help her if she needs it, because I care about others.. . But I won't ruin her life if she wants marriage I would leave it how it is.

    • Nobody said you shouldn't talk to her, do you remember, I told you to do it. It's just that, the first words you say to her shouldn't be "do you want to get married?" but starting off like friends and then asking her.

      What the hell is wrong with people rating me down when I'm only being honest and expressing my opinion from an 18 year old Muslim girl's view? I'm not going to sugarcoat our traditions for you people.

Loading...