Forced marriage has been practiced in most patriarchal societies at one time or another. It was practiced across Europe during the medieval period and continued to be practiced there well into the latter part of the nineteenth century, especially by those in the higher classes. In North America, “shot-gun” weddings were perpetrated into the twentieth century and forced marriage by religious leaders in polygamous sects is ongoing in both Canada and the US.  In the Greater Toronto Area, forced marriages are known to affect women and men born in Canada and those born abroad.  Ancestral backgrounds of victims range from South Asia, Europe, South America and Africa.

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