Regional News • Asia
Bridal kidnapping into forced marriages to be made illegal, Indonesian officials vow
Multiple men kidnap a woman to force her into marriage
Multiple men kidnap a woman to force her into marriage Credit: Screenshot of viral Twitter video from December 2019

After two cases of bridal kidnapping have been filmed and posted to social media platforms where they went viral, Indonesian officials have vowed to ban the practice. The practice is established in Sumba, a southern island in Indonesia where family members or friends of a man who wants to marry a woman kidnap her and bring her directly to the ceremony.

According to local historian Frans Wora Hebi "There are no laws against it, only sometimes there is social reprimand against those who practice it but there is no legal or cultural deterrent" adding that the practice is not part of any traditions but a way to force women into marriage.

Regional leaders in Sumba have now signed a declaration stating that they reject the practice and Indonesia's women's empowerment minister Bintang Puspayoga stated that there will be a government effort to end the practice.