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Sydney Parent’s Heartbreaking Plan To Marry Their Teen To Older Man

The marriage was against the underage girl's wishes

A Sydney teenager has told her school the devastating news that her parents were allegedly trying to force her to marry an older man.

The teenager’s parents had even allegedly agreed to pay a large dowry for the wedding she could not bear.

But as The Daily Telegraph reports in an exclusive story, the school girl’s heartbreaking request for help was reportedly neglected by NSW’s Department of Family and Community Services.

Laura Vidal, the Salvation Army’s forced marriage specialist, has spoken out about the underage girl’s tragic circumstances. She said the Salvation Army submitted a mandatory report about the girl to FACS after she could not make a decision about going to police.  

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7 News reports that FACS received details of the teenager’s “physical and psychological” abuse, and yet failed to “engage at all” with her case.

FACS reportedly sent a letter back claiming the girl’s situation “did not meet the significant harm threshold”. 

A FACS spokesman told the Daily Telegraph the organisation had indeed “responded to a report about concerns of an attempted forced marriage and was advised that the matter was being investigated by the Australian Federal Police with ­assistance from NSW Police.”

But Opposition FACS spokeswoman Tania Mihailuk said the response was not good enough.

“This child was turned away at a time when more than 70 per cent of children reported to be at risk of significant harm are not receiving a face-to-face assessment from a caseworker,” she said.

To contact Kids Helpline call 1800 55 1800

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