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This article was originally published in Reuters on February 20, 2015. You can access the original article here:

A new website aims to tackle the hidden problem of forced marriage in the United States, which is thought to affect thousands of women and girls.

Designed to be a one-stop resource in the United States for people facing or fleeing forced marriage and those trying to help them, is a product of Tahirih Justice Center, a legal services and advocacy group working with immigrant women and girls.

Forced marriage, defined as marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of one or both parties, occurs primarily among young women and girls from immigrant communities.

“We’ve done our best with trainings and outreach, but if a teacher from a high school in Idaho is grappling with this issue with a student, we want them to be able to better understand it, their student’s needs and the risks involved in this situation,” said Heather Heiman, an attorney who heads Tahirih’s Forced Marriage Initiative.

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