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PreventForcedMarriage.org is first U.S.-based website of its kind for individuals facing forced marriage and advocates

Tahirih Justice Center’s Forced Marriage Initiative today launched PreventForcedMarriage.org, the first and only U.S.-based website exclusively devoted to providing lifesaving resources and information to individuals facing or fleeing forced marriages, as well as advocates across the United States.

Forced marriage—defined as a marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of one or both parties—is a human rights violation that impacts communities around the world. It can happen to a person of any race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, or national origin, and impacts people of all economic and educational backgrounds.

In the United States, forced marriage is a serious but neglected problem. As many as 3,000 known or suspected cases of forced marriage were encountered by advocates in the United States over a period of just two years, according to a 2011 Tahirih study. Just as alarming—less than one in five service providers are properly equipped to assist individuals facing forced marriage.

“When Tahirih began to work on forced marriage cases, we were struck by how few resources and legal options exist in the United States to assist individuals facing forced marriages, as well as how little awareness or understanding there is nationwide about the unique dynamics and challenges in forced marriage situations. Tahirih’s launch of PreventForcedMarriage.org is a vital step in reversing that reality,” said Heather Heiman, Forced Marriage Initiative Project Manager and Senior Public Policy Attorney at Tahirih.

PreventForcedMarriage.org features a wide variety of resources for individuals facing forced marriage, as well as service providers, including important safety-planning tips, user-friendly assistance request forms, a training and events calendar, a comprehensive news archive, and access to full-length reports and webinars.

“Ultimately, we hope the website will provide vital information and resources to those facing forced marriages or the people in a position to help them, thereby drastically reducing incidences of forced marriage across the United States,” said Archi Pyati, Director of Policy and Programs at Tahirih.

PreventForcedMarriage.org is a resource that is possible thanks to generous funding from Foundation for a Just Society.

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