2016

Jeanne Smoot, “Empowering Girls in Virginia to Choose If, When and Whom to Marry,” Alliance in Action (January 11, 2016). Blog by Tahirih Justice Center’s Senior Counsel for Policy and Strategy, Jeanne Smoot, outlining the need to change minimum age of marriage laws in Virginia to better protect minors from being forced to marry. Read here.

Francisca Ortega, “The Texan counties with the most married children,” Chron (January 29, 2016). In Texas, teenagers between the ages of 16 and 17 can get married with parental permission, and those under 16 with a judge’s approval. This article discusses how some of these marriages are driven by manipulation and coercion, and takes a look at the frequency of child marriages in Texas. Read here.

“Forced to Marry & Flee, Child Brides Seeking Asylum in Scandinavia,” Sputnik International (February 3, 2016). With an increasing flow of refugees coming from the Middle East, the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs has stated that they are carefully screening child migrants for signs of sexual abuse or forced marriage. The department found that more than 61 migrant children seeking asylum in Norway arrived already married to older men. Read here.

Karen Bradley MP, “Help for victims of forced marriage and honour-based violence,” GOV.UK (February 12, 2016). This article by Karen Bradley, the Minister for Preventing Abuse, Exploitation and Crime, highlights a recent trip by the Home Office of the UK to the organization Karma Nirvana. During this meeting, the Minister met survivors of forced marriage, as well as learned about the organization’s efforts to combat forced marriage in the UK. Read here.

Janene Pieters, “250 Illegal Child Marriages Every Year in Netherlands,” NL Times (February 12, 2016). According to a recent study by Maastricht University and the Verwey-Jonker Institute, close to 250 underage children get married each year in the Netherlands, most of whom are 16 to 17 years old. Forced marriage is a criminal offense in the Netherlands and carries up to a two-year sentence. Read here.

Anjali Shastry, “Va., Md. weigh raising marriage age to 18 to combat coercion, abuse,” The Washington Times (February 15, 2016). In Virginia and Maryland, legislatures are considering an increase in the minimum age to marry to 18, in order to protect minors from forced marriage. Tahirih’s Jeanne Smoot and founder of Unchained At Last Fraidy Reiss comment on the bill. Read here.

“Calif. Woman allegedly kidnapped, forced into marriage testifies at suspect’s trial,” Fox News (February 18, 2016). In California, a 26-year-old survivor of forced marriage is continuing her testimony against Isidro Garcia, who is charged with raping her and forcing her into marriage when she was 15. The survivor testified that the defendant threatened to contact immigration authorities to have her deported, which allowed him to continue to abuse her until she was an adult. Read here.

“States Make New Push to Curb Child Marriage,” The New York Times (February 20, 2016). With the help of advocates like Fraidy Reiss of Unchained at Last and Jeanne Smoot of the Tahirih Justice Center, state legislators in Virginia, New York, and Maryland are reexamining laws that leave minors vulnerable to forced marriage. This article also highlights the efforts of state senator Jill Vogel, the sponsor of the current legislation in Virginia, and tells the story of forced marriage survivor, Naila Amin. Read here.

Matt Payton, “Six-year-old girl with learning difficulties forced into child marriage,” Independent (February 22, 2016). An investigation in the UK found that a six-year-old girl with learning difficulties was removed from school, and taken to Pakistan to marry an older man. Her story is among the other cases reported in the Sunday Times investigation. Read here.

Emma Batha, “Young U.K. girls being forced into marriage over Skype: Charities,” Toronto Sun (February 29, 2016). This article uncovers the rising prevalence of forced marriages committed via Skype or phone. In Britain, it has been reported that Imams are using Skype to remotely marry British girls to men abroad, who later come to the UK on marriage visas. Read here.

“Slough charity to train hairdressers to spot forced marriage,” BBC News (March 7, 2016). Jeena International, a nonprofit based in Slough, England, plans to launch an initiative to raise awareness on forced marriages within the wedding industry. The organization will start with a series of 15 workshops to train beauticians and hairdressers on the signs of forced marriage, and who to contact if they suspect a client is potentially at risk. Read here

“Forced Marriage Campaign: Seasonal Reminder Ahead of Easter School Holidays,” West Yorkshire Police (March 7, 2016). Before the start of the Easter holiday, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner and West Yorkshire Police are working with schools, airport staff, and other key personnel to raise awareness on the signs of forced marriage. Officers note that forced marriages tend to increase over school holidays, when families have the opportunity to travel abroad. Read here

Laura Vidal, “Forced Marriage Is Happening in Australia And We Need To Do Something About It,” The Huffington Post (March 8, 2016). In this blog post, Laura Vidal, Project Coordinator of the Salvation Army’s Freedom Partnership to End Modern Slavery, draws attention to the prevalence of forced marriage in Australia. Vidal calls upon lawmakers to create better policies to respond to the issue, noting that the UK’s Forced Marriage Unit is a potential model that Australia can emulate. Read here.

“Forced marriage figures ‘may not reflect full scale of abuse,’” Belfast Telegraph (March 8, 2016). Official statistics released by the UK Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) show that there were 1,200 reported incidences of forced marriage in 2015. However, a recent report by the Home Office and Foreign Office warns that the FMU’s findings may not accurately reflect the magnitude of the issue in the UK, as forced marriage is often a hidden abuse. Read here.

Siobhan Fenton, “Woman ‘shot dead at wedding for refusing arranged marriage to her cousin’,” The Independent (March 16, 2016). In Germany, a 21-year-old Kurdish woman was shot dead after refusing an arranged marriage to her cousin. According to the victim’s alleged father, she encountered multiple forced marriage attempts by extended family members. The police are currently investigating her death as a homicide. Read here

“Interview: the women campaigning to end child marriage in the United States,” Girls Not Brides (March 17, 2016). In this interview, Fraidy Reiss from Unchained At Last, and Jeanne Smoot from the Tahirih Justice Center, talk about their work to end child and forced marriage in the United States. Both women discuss the prevalence of child and forced marriages and ways to address this issue in the U.S. Read here

Sophie Morton, “Forest Gate students organise forced marriage campaign,” Newham Recorder (March 19, 2016). The Azhar Academy Girls School in the UK recently ran a forced marriage campaign to raise awareness on the issue. The campaign included guest-speaking events by government members of the Forced Marriage Unit, as well as representatives of other UK-based nonprofits. Students learned about the signs of forced marriage and what to do if they or a friend are facing a forced marriage. Read here

“Woman who says Warren Jeffs forced her to marry her cousin at 14 can sue,” The Guardian (March 24, 2016). The supreme court in Utah has ruled that Elissa Wall may sue for monetary damages after being forced to marry at age 14 by the polygamous leader Warren Jeffs. In 2007, Wall’s testimony of her abuse helped convict Jeffs, who is now serving a life sentence in prison. Read here.

Alex Matthews, “Husband who brought his Pakistani bride to the UK and treated her like a slave giving her regular beatings and forcing her to clean from 5am every morning faces jail,” Daily Mail (March 27, 2016). In the UK, Safraz Ahmed, a man who confined his wife to their house and threatened to sexually assault her if she left, is facing charges of conspiracy to hold a person in domestic servitude in the Woolich Crown Court. Ahmed forced his wife to carry out endless chores in their home and regularly beat her. After nearly two years of this abuse, neighbors who witnessed a recent incident contacted the police. Read here

Ishaan Tharoor, “Refugee child bride went on a hunger strike after Belgium separated her from husband,” The Washington Post (April 1, 2016). With the influx of refugees entering Europe, Belgium officials are grappling with the issue of whether to recognize child marriages from Syria, where girls who are as young as 13-years-old can get married. Belgium also has broader concerns of forced marriage in their existing communities. Between 2010 and 2013, the police received at least 56 reports of forced marriage, and officials believe that these numbers are just the tip of an iceberg of the true magnitude of the issue. Read here.

Siobhan Fenton, “’My childhood was stolen from me’: Pupil of illegal Jewish faith school reveals physical abuse,” Independent (April 3, 2016). This article tells the story of a young woman who grew up in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in London and the exploitation she experienced as a child. She finally left the community at age 18, after facing pressure to get married. Read here.

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Andrew Ford, “Lawmakers ponder youth marriage ban,” app.com (April 5, 2016). In New Jersey, 16-year-olds can get married with parental consent, and anyone younger with a judge’s approval. However, lawmakers are now considering a new bill that would raise the marriage age to 18. Unchained At Last’s Fraidy Reiss testified before state lawmakers, explaining how loopholes in the state’s present laws leave young women and girls vulnerable to child and forced marriages. Read here.

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Michael Yong, “Children in Bristol were forced into marriage overseas,” Bristol Post (April 5, 2016). New figures by the UK Ministry of Justice show that at least 11 individuals in Bristol have been granted Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPOs) by the courts. Activists note that the actual number of forced marriages taking place is higher, since not all victims are able to obtain FMPOs. Read here.

Tovia Smith, “Who Decides If You’re Too Young To Marry?” NPR (April 5, 2016). This article by NPR highlights the dangerous, but common loopholes in states’ marriage laws that leave young women and girls vulnerable to child and forced marriage. In response to the concerning number of child marriages taking place in the U.S., and due to the efforts of advocates like Tahirih’s Jeanne Smoot, Virginia recently passed a bill to increase the minimum marriage age. Legislators in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York may follow suit with similar bills. Read here.

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Michael Symons, “Should child marriage be banned in NJ? It happens more than you think,” New Jersey 101.5 (April 10, 2016).  Legislators in New Jersey are considering a proposal to increase the age of marriage to age 18 to provide additional safeguards to minors facing forced marriage. The article also features a video telling the story of forced marriage survivor and founder of Unchained at Last, Fraidy Reiss. Read and watch here

Josh Halliday, “Boy aged eight among known potential victims of forced marriage in the UK,” The Guardian (April 20, 2016).  Police figures into investigations of forced marriage cases in the United Kingdom have been released, showing that the majority of investigations into cases of forced marriage do not result in a prosecution and providing demographic data on cases since 2014. The article also contains recent data from UK based charities and the Forced Marriage Unit and a discussion on how to overcome challenges in prosecution and the need for further training for law enforcement. Read more.

Yasmin Choudhury, “Forced marriage still happens in the UK because police are scared of being called racist for fighting honour abuse,” Independent (April 24, 2016). In this article, author Yasmin Choudhury calls attention to the low rates of forced marriage investigations that actually result in prosecutions in the UK. Choudhury asserts that such low levels of prosecutions are due to police and governmental fear of offending cultural traditions. Read here.

Hannah Al-Othman, “A fifth of forced marriage cases last year were in London, official figures show,” Evening Standard (April 20, 2016). According to official statistics released by the UK’s Forced Marriage Unit, the department assisted on 1,220 possible cases of forced marriage. Among these cases, almost 80 percent of referrals came from professionals or third-party family members, rather than the victims themselves. A fifth of the total number of cases were from London. Read here.

Dina Yazdani, Kaitlyn Denzler, “A Conversation on Child Marriage With Amnesty International,” Fair Observer (April 29 2016). Following the prioritization of the elimination of Child Marriage by the global community in recent years, Kaitlyn Denzler, a women’s rights campaigner at Amnesty International USA spoke on the issue. Answering the baseline questions around Child Forced Marriage internationally, and in developed countries she gives the readership an overview of the issue’s current, past and future. She also discusses Forced Marriage in the US, and cites the work of Tahirih. Read more.

Stephanie Labaff, “To Lalita Janke, Camp Haven’s men are family,” USA Today Network: TC Palm (May 4, 2016). An article outlining the incredible survivor Lalita Janke’s story from forced marriage to helping millions with their fights with substance abuse. Read More.

Bob Mims, “Former child bride, polygamous trust settle lawsuit for $2.75M,” The Salt Lake Tribune (May 6, 2016). Child marriage survivor, Elissa Wall, has reached a settlement of $2.75 million in her ongoing legal action against the once communal property trust of Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints whose leader, Warren Jeffs, forced her to marry at age 14Read more.

Chris Arnold, “Group Advocating young teenage marriage denied Wichita meeting venue,” KSNW-TV (May 6, 2016).  The group “Let Them Marry” is founded in a “biblical understanding of early marriage,” where all people should be married by 20 years old. Their retreat, planned to serve as a place for young people to meet and engage in marriage, was cancelled last week by the camp’s owners. The group claim their message has been misunderstood and misrepresented. Read More.

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“Dad admits he took pregnant 14-year-old daughter to marry her 24-year-old rapist” Fox 31 Denver, (May 25, 2016). An Idaho father has been sentenced to serve four months in prison after he took his 14 year old daughter out of state to marry the man who raped her, resulting in pregnancy. The young woman and her rapist were taken to Missouri, where a minor who is pregnant can marry with parental consent. Read and watch here.

Anna Leech, “The lesbian rapper who escaped forced marriage in Somalia” Som Tribune (May 5th, 2016). The story of forced marriage survivor and anti-FGM activist, Berlin, who was taken to Somalia where she faced forced marriage and death threats after being outed as a lesbian. Berlin escaped to Toronto, where she is pursuing her studies to become a doctor. Read here.

Shaheen Hashmat, “The majority of police forces’ failure to tackle “honour”-based violence is punishing victims” The New Statesman (May 15th, 2016). Opinion piece by UK based forced marriage survivor and campaigner, Shaheen Hashmat, arguing that specialist police units should be set up to address harms such as forced marriage and “honor” based violence as a way to overcome lack of training and inconsistent quality of practice in police departments nationally. Read more.

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Sara Karim, “An Open Letter to British Asians From Survivor Sara Karim,” She Speaks We Hear (June 1, 2016). Sara Karim, a survivor of sexual assault and forced marriage, tells her story in a call to action to specifically protect and inform British Asian women of their higher risk rates of forced marriage. Read More.

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Pragna Patel and Sundari Anitha, “Transnational marriage abandonment: A new form of violence against women?” Inclusive democracy (June 6, 2016). The article discusses the phenomenon of transnational Marriage Abandonment or Stranded Spouses: a form of violence against women, where a husband, who is a national or resident of another country, deliberately abandons a foreign national wife in her country of origin. This piece examines several court cases in the UK that highlight the severity of this problem. Read more.

Nadia Khomami, “Victims of forced marriage to receive lifelong anonymity,” The Guardian (June 7, 2016). In an effort to protect victims of forced marriage in England and Wales a new law is being drafted to provide anonymity in all publications and broadcasts of information that could identify victims. This law is being modeled off of the anonymity order introduced last year for victims of FGM/C. Read more.

Donna Rachel Edmunds, “Child Bride Legally Married Under Sharia Law, German Judge Rules,” Breitbart (June 11, 2016). In a landmark ruling a German judge has ruled to uphold a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 20-year-old husband based on the fact that the marriage occurred in their native Syria, legally, and was conducted according to Sunni marriage rites. This case contradicts the majority of European countries who have a marriage age of 16, making a precedent for other such cases involving immigrant, refugee, asylum, and non-EU early marriages. Read more.

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Joey Millar, “Muslim girls saved from forced SKYPE marriage and FGM in legal first,” Express (June 13, 2016). A 21-year-old English Muslim woman was to undergo FGM before marrying a stranger on Skype, when she spoke up against her father’s plans to the UK authorities. She is become the first ever person to receive civil court orders saving her from FGM and forced marriage. Read more.

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“Court order issues for first time in Fife to block schoolgirl being taken to Pakistan for forced marriage,” Dunfermline Press (June 13, 2016). When elder sister “Miss A” fled her family home in Scotland after refusing to marry her cousin back in Pakistan, her concerns fell on her sister, her likely replacement in the proposed marriage. The evidence seemed to affirm this “appeasement” and the police of Fife Scotland intervened in order to protect her from an “honor-based crime.” Read more.

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Steve Wright, “Forced marriage and honour abuse are still ‘under-reported,’ conference in Bradford is told,” Telegraph & Argus (June 14, 2016). With recent efforts to combat forced marriage in West Yorkshire in the UK, advocates are concerned that numbers are much higher than reports suggest. Jasvinder Sanghera, a survivor of forced marriage, is an adamant activist in the area, working to bring justice and relief to victims. Read more.

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Alanna Vagianos, “Poem Exposes The Gut-Wrenching Anonymity of Child Brides,” The Huffington Post (June 17, 2016). Talented Slam Poet Emi Mahmoud delivers an incredible spoken word poem “Child Bride,” paying homage to the millions of girls married as children every year. See her performance here and read more.

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“Private Life: Norway Targets Forced Marriages Amid ‘Peak Season,’” Sputnik News (June 20, 2016). Norway is stepping up their legal responses to the dramatic increases in the number of girls and women being forced into marriage, forcible kept abroad, or forcibly undergo FGMC. In response to research showing that the summertime is “high season” for forced marriage and FGM/C in Norway, the country is pursuing new legislation targets consent around such travel in an attempt to eliminate the practice. Read more.

“Three prosecuted in Sweden’s first forced marriage charge,” The Local (June 21, 2016). Three men are being prosecuted in Sweden’s first indictment of forced marriage. The prosecution names honor-based crimes, and coercive force responsible for why a father was forcing his daughter into marrying a man through blackmail–he had kidnapped and was assaulting her boyfriend. Read more.

Anat Ghelber, “NYS Legislators to End Marriages of 14-year-olds,” The Jewish Voice New York (June 22, 2016). Legislators in New York are actively trying to address the problem of child marriage in the state, but recognize that legal challenges are not the only thing they’re up against. While changing the minimum marriage consent law to 18, with no exceptions, would be a huge step forward for the state, there are other factors involved in eliminating forced marriage in the state. Fraidy Reiss, survivor and founder of Unchained at Last, talked about the gap between true consent and parentally coerced consent as a huge problem in this battle. Read more.

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“The woman saved from her father’s FGM plans,” BBC (June 23, 2016). A 17-year-old girl in the UK was meant to go through an arranged marriage and had freely and willingly agreed to it after she and the man became acquainted. But at the last minute the man revoked his offer. This happened a few more times with different men, before she was told that the reason was that she was not circumcised. Her father was under increasing pressure to send her abroad for both the “procedure” and a forced marriage. Figuring out what was about to happen she reached out to the authorities and has received a joint forced marriage and FGM protection order. Read more.

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Emma Batha, “UK schools urged to be alert to forced marriage risks ahead of summer break,” Daily Mail (June 28, 2016). The NGO Reuters has released a renewed warning to UK schools to be on alert about forced marriage and FGM warning signs as summer break approaches. The numbers of girls who undergo “vacation cutting” and forced marriage back in their parents’ home country drastically increase over school breaks, specifically summer holidays. UK schools are emphasizing education around trigger statements and procedures that teachers and other faculty should undertake if they suspect a student to be facing forced marriage or FGM. Read more. 

Tracy Walker, “Honour based abuse survivor speaks of being banished from family,” Nottingham Post (June 28, 2016). As a young girl in Nottingham from a conservative Indian family, Nisha’s desire to go to university and not enter into a marriage was shocking to her family. Now 22, she recalls the mental and physical abuse she constantly endured. And when she told her parents she was too exhausted to both go to university full time (a 6 hour commute each day), care for her siblings, and do domestic chores in the house, her parents offered her their only option: get married. Instead she ran away at 18. Four years after their ultimatum Nisha has two degrees, works for Karma Nirvana to combat forced marriage, and despite several attempts has not been able to have a healthy relationship with her family. Read more.

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Jenna Portnoy, “Why 13-year-olds can no longer marry in Virginia,” The Washington Post (July 3, 2016). Much to the efforts of Jeanne Smoot, Tahirih’s Senior Counsel for Policy and Strategy, a bill has gone into effect reversing previous legislation that allowed a girl 13 or younger to marry–if she was pregnant–with parental permission. Read more.

Jean Mackenzie and Adam Eley, “The UK women seeking divorce through Sharia councils,” BBC News (July 11, 2016). A woman in the UK forced into an abusive arranged marriage at 15 sought a divorce, or nikah, through Sharia councils in the UK. Despite being asked a myriad of questions and being put through frustration and pain over theoretical reconciliation with her spouse, the court unanimously awarded her the nikah. Read more.

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Tristan Cork, “Warning over summer holiday forced marriages for Bristol teenages,” Bristol Post (July 12, 2016). As summer holidays approach in the UK authorities and advocacy groups warn colleges and schools to be on the lookout for suspicious and targeted behavior that could indicate forced marriage. Read more.

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Sarah Grossman, “Virginia Has Banned Child Marriage. Yes, It Still Exists in the U.S.” Huffington Post (July 12, 2016). As the new law in Virginia raising the minimum age of marriage took effect at the beginning of this month, publicity around the law’s necessity shocked many. Moreover, the law’s increase of the age of marriage to 18 highlighted to the public the presence of child marriage in many other places in the US. Read more.

“Newcastle remembers victims of honour based violence,” Metro Radio (July 13, 2016). As Newcastle remembers those who have died at the hands of honour based violence, survivors are speaking up about how these issues can be best addressed and prevented. One prominent survivor, who is now a model and advocate, called on educators and community members to be more engaged and investigative when students seem “off” or go missing. Read more.

Helena Hickey, “Former Officer inspired to join service after escaping forced marriage,” Police Oracle (July 18, 2016). Former West Midlands officer Rashid was herself a victim of attempted forced marriage, that violently left her separated from her family forever. In the aftermath of such a hard situation Rashid became a police officer, and continues to fight against forced marriage. She works to increase education around officer alertness to forced marriages in their communities. Read more.

Vikki White, “Brave bride fled forced marriage and took legal action against DAD to wed her true love,” Mirror (July 23, 2016). A UK law student fled her family and eloped with her boyfriend in Pakistan, was awarded a police order protection. The order, against her father, who had been forcing an arranged marriage on her, is protecting her from the “damaging influences” of her family. Read more.

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Christie Renick, “Too Young To Say ‘I Do’,” Chronical of Social Change (September 8, 2016). This article provides an in-depth analysis of the child marriage issue in the United States including national and international statistics, research on the harms of early and forced marriage, legislative efforts and opinions from experts including Tahirih’s Jeanne Smoot and Casey Swegman. Read more.

 

Eleanor Ainge Roy, “New Zealand bans forced marriages in crackdown on domestic violence,” The Guardian (September 13, 2016) New Zealand has revamped its domestic violence laws, and part of that initiative has led to the banning of forced or coercive marriages. Prime Minister John Key introduced this and other changes to the country’s Domestic Violence Act, saying he hopes this will make it easier for abusers to be stopped. Read more.

 

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Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, “Child and Forced Marriage in the United States,” Council on Foreign Relations (September 15, 2016). This piece discusses the PBS special about child marriage in the United States and provides background information about the issue, citing studies from Tahirih Justice Center and Unchained At Last.  American efforts to counter forced and child marriage, such as Virginia’s passage of its anti-child marriage bill are discussed. Read more.

 

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Brianne Tolj, “How Middle Eastern families in Australia are sending their daughters as young as nine overseas and forcing them to marry,” Daily Mail Australia (September 19, 2016). Children set to be forced into marriages by their families are reaching out to their teachers in order to appeal for help. School workers have begun relaying these messages to the Australian Family and Community Services helpline. These forced marriages have been growing and many involve 14-16 year-old girls. Read more.

 

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 “’Tsunami’ of Australian girls as young as nine married off abroad in forced wedding epidemic,” Yahoo7 News (September 20, 2016). Girls as young as nine years old are being sent by their families to countries including Lebanon, Indonesia, and Afghanistan for arranged marriages. This number has gone up recently, as there are currently 69 cases being investigated since 2015, which is 33 more cases than the year before. Read more.

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 “Five questions about forced marriage you were too afraid to ask,” The AHA Foundation (September 20, 2016) The AHA Foundation provides a list of common questions that someone unfamiliar with forced marriage issues might ask with paired answers. It responds to questions such as what really constitutes a forced marriage and why it is so difficult to leave them. Read more.

Molly Oswaks, “‘I’m a person and I deserve more’: What it’s like to escape a polygamous cult,” Broadly.vice.com (September 21, 2016). The Kingston Clan, a Mormon group based in Utah, practices polygamy and the forced marriage of underage girls. Former members of the cult, Julianna Johnson and Val Snow, are interviewed about the abuses they suffered and their lives following their transition into normal life. Julianna was forced to marry her nephew when she was 15, and Val was kicked out of the group for being gay. Read more.

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 Jenny Stanger, “How to put an end to forced marriage in Australia,” NT News (September 22, 2016). Opinion piece from Australian Salvation Army Freedom Partnership manager calling for a comprehensive approach to supporting young people and their families to address forced marriage. It cites the Australian Criminal Offense which official made forced marriage a crime in 2013 as making people more aware of the crime and of how to contact the police with information. Read here.

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Devin Tomb, “Child Marriage Still Happens in America,” Good Housekeeping (September 23, 2016).  This article shares three stories of survivors of child marriage in the United States, Naila Amin, Anna Jones, and Nina Van Harn. Coerced by their parents and unprotected by the law, these three girls share illuminating stories of how easily forced marriages can happen in the here. Read more.

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Marina Freri, “Child marriage: A closer look at the story behind the headlines,” Radio Australia (September 26, 2016) In response to the dialogue about child marriage that has followed the story about the “tsunami of young girls” being sent from Australia into forced marriages overseas, Marina Freri investigated the facts about forced child marriage. Read more.

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“Migrant child brides put Europe in a spin,” BBC (September 30, 2016). European governments facing an increased amount of migrant activity have been struggling to tackle the question of whether underage marriages performed in refugee camps or in the refugee’s home country should be broken up by authorities. Denmark has made recent policy shifts, and begun reuniting couples with brides as young as 14. Read more.

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Michael O’Keeffe, “Unchained at Last founded by ex-Orthodox Jewish bride aids women and girls escape forced marriages,” New York Daily News (October 17, 2016). Unchained at Last is a nonprofit based in New Jersey that was founded in 2011 by forced marriage survivor Fraidy Reiss. Since leaving the marriage, Reiss now provides help to other forced marriage victims, providing legal assistance, therapy, English education etc. Read more.

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Melissa Davies, “Cultural marriages could be hiding forced marriages in NZ,” Newshub (December 4, 2016). New Zealand legislators are considering a bill to reform current marriage legislation which allows 16-17 year-olds to marry with parental consent. If passed, this new legislation would require oversight from the Family Court for any marriage under the age of 18.   Read here.

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Don Snyder, “Germany considers law to invalidate Muslim refugees’ underage marriages,” Fox News World (December 8, 2016). The German government is preparing legislation to outlaw child marriage that would deny legal status to any marriage in which a partner is under the age of 16. Concerns have arisen over whether the legislation is a reflection of Islamophobia, and whether it would leave young girls already in marriages vulnerable. Read here.

 

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