A 2016 UNICEF evidence review (based on data from 20) estimated that 10 to 13 percent of marriages in the highest risk areas involved abduction, with rates of 1.4 percent to 2.4 percent in lower risk areas of the country.
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In most nations, bride kidnapping is considered a sex crime rather than a valid form of marriage.
Some types of it may also be seen as falling along the continuum between forced marriage and arranged marriage.
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.
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.
The Turkana tribe in Kenya also practised marriage by abduction.
In their practice, the abductor kidnaps the woman forcibly and rapes her in an attempt to impregnate her.