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Forced marriage flourishing here, says Goward

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FORCED marriage is not just a problem for other countries but is alive and well in Australia, a forum in Sydney has heard.

The NSW Community Relations Commission is holding an inquiry into human trafficking, including sex slavery and forced marriage, of which there are an estimated 1000 cases a year in Australia, according to the state Minister for Women, Pru Goward.

Accurate figures are hard to come by as victims are often isolated and terrified of retribution. Victims of trafficking are often forced to marry men they may not know, in some cases by threats of rape or murder aimed at them or their families, she said.

''These types of violence are considered to be an international problem, but that is not the case,'' Ms Goward told the symposium in Fairfield on forced marriage and human trafficking

One woman a week is killed in NSW by a current or former partner, and in 2010 NSW police investigated 126,000 cases of domestic violence.

AAP

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