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The term is sometimes used to include not only abductions, but also elopements, in which a couple runs away together and seeks the consent of their parents later; these may be referred to as non-consensual and consensual abductions respectively.However, even when the practice is against the law, judicial enforcement remains lax in some areas, such as Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Chechnya.In agricultural and patriarchal societies, where bride kidnapping is most common, children work for their family.A woman leaves her birth family, geographically and economically, when she marries, becoming instead a member of the groom's family.The marriage is confirmed with a ceremony that follows the abduction by several days.In such ceremonies, the abductor asks his bride's parents to forgive him for abducting their daughter. Bride kidnapping has been practiced around the world and throughout history.
The "bride" is then coerced through the stigma of pregnancy and rape to marry her abductor.Bride kidnapping is not specifically outlawed in Rwanda, though violent abductions are punishable as rape.According to a criminal justice official, bride kidnappers are virtually never tried in court: "When we hear about abduction, we hunt down the kidnappers and arrest them and sometimes the husband, too.For example, fear of kidnap is cited as a reason for the lower participation of girls in the education system.The mechanism of marriage by abduction varies by location.
Though most common in the late 19th century through the 1960s, such marriage abductions still occur occasionally.