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This article was originally published on September 19, 2011.

Dear Friends,

We are excited to announce that, today, Tahirih Justice Center released the results of our groundbreaking national survey on the state of forced marriage in the United States. The survey is the first of its kind conducted in the United States and designed to understand the scope and nature of forced marriage among immigrant communities. Newsweek magazine has reported on the survey results in this week’s edition, and the full survey report can be read on Tahirih’s website.

Forced marriage is an issue that has increasingly come to our attention as Tahirih received calls for help from around the country. There is a regrettable lack of information in the United States about forced marriage, there are no laws designed to protect forced marriage victims, and there is a void in community dialogue and advocacy on the issue. In stark contrast to the United Kingdom, which has a governmental agency focused on forced marriage, a national forced marriage hotline, and a specific forced marriage temporary restraining order, the United States is woefully behind and has very little in place to adequately protect women and girls fleeing forced marriage. To address this need, Tahirih has launched a Forced Marriage Initiative to protect courageous women and girls who step forward and ask for help. We invite you to support our efforts and sign up to receive updates on this important issue.

Thank you for your partnership in ending violence against women and girls,

Layli's Signature

Layli Miller-Muro
Tahirih Founder and Executive Director