In Belgium, everyone is free to choose his/her partner and decide who he/she wants to marry.
Forced marriage is forbidden by law. A person who forces somebody else to marry against his/her will can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 2 years. Even if the marriage does not actually take place, the coercion can still be punished. The coercion can be physical or psychological (threats or emotional pressure). If you have questions about this or are looking for help, contact a CAW.
An arranged marriage is when parents or other family members choose a partner for their child. When both spouses-to-be fully agree to the marriage, this is a legal marriage.
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CAW - Centrum Algemeen Welzijn
Centre for general well-being - Help with all kinds of issues: a difficult relationship, medical, financial, administrative, legal or material problems, family problems,... CAWs also provide assistance to victims of violence and abuse. Find a CAW in your neighbourhood: