Kristen Meinzer, “The Child Bride Next Door: Inside America’s Forced Marriage Problem,” The Take Away (December 28, 2015). Interview with Unchained At Last founder, Fraidy Reiss highlighting the issue of child marriage in the United States and citing child marriage statistics in New York as well as the 2011 Tahirih Justice Center survey on forced marriage. Read here.
Diane Cole, “Children Get Married In The U.S., Too: #15Girls,” NPR (October 28, 2015). Summary of statistics from Unchained at Last and the Tahirih Justice Center on child marriage in the United States, which happen legally due to parental and judicial consent exceptions to the minimum age of marriage. Casey Swegman and Jeanne Smoot from Tahirih and Fraidy Reiss from Unchained at last are quoted. Read here.
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith, “Father in Germany strangled 19-year-old daughter in ‘honour killing’ after she was caught stealing condoms,” The Independent (October 22, 2015). Parents in Germany are on trial for the murder of their daughter, who they killed because she had a relationship. Read here.
Fraidy Reiss, “America’s Child-Marriage Problem,” The New York Times (October 13, 2015). Opinion piece by advocate, Fraidy Reiss, founder of Unchained at Last, including child marriage statistics in New Jersey and Virginia uncovered by surveys from Unchained at Last and the Tahirih Justice Center. Tahirih’s 2013 survey on Forced Marriage is cited. Read here.
Daphne Bramham, “Conservatives, polygamy and cultural relativism,” The Vancouver Sun (October 4, 2015). In light of the newly passed Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, this article examines the attention paid by conservative politicians to polygamy and child and forced marriages in the Muslim community in Canada, while ignoring similar practices in the Canadian Mormon community. Read here.
Steven Thompson, “Channel 4 documentary Forced Marriage Cops will show how police are tackling the issue in Bolton and across Greater Manchester,” The Bolton News (September 29, 2015). Summary article of the UK Channel 4 Programme, Forced Marriage Cops which covers the efforts by Manchester Police to tackle forced marriage, including two stories from survivors. Read here.
“300 pleading for help over forced marriage in the West Midlands,” Express and Star (September 29, 2015). Police in the West Midlands, UK have had over 300 requests for assistance for forced marriage in the past year, with arrests made in six cases since June, following the criminalization of forced marriage. Sixty forced marriage protection orders have been issued by police in the West Midlands in the past three years. Read here.
Dan Russell, “Teachers back changes to sex education – which could see students being taught about porn,” Nottingham Post (September 29, 2015). Nottingham City Council in the UK will be asking schools to sign a charter agreeing to teach children about sex education, including porn, female genital mutilation, and forced marriages. Read here.
Priyanka Mogul, “London: Student flash mobs highlight need for education on child marriage and FGM,” International Business Times (September 28, 2015). Students in North London formed flashmobs to call on the government to introduce compulsory education in schools about female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. Includes statements from the organizations IKWRO and Karma Nirvana addressing forced marriage in the UK. Read here.
Yanan Wang, “The ‘open secret’ of abused Hmong child brides goes public in Minnesota lawsuit,” The Washington Post (September 28, 2015). A young Hmong survivor of forced marriage has filed a federal lawsuit against her perpetrator, bringing attention to forced marriage involving young women in the Hmong Community. Sia Her, an advocate from the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, is interviewed. Read here.
Maggie Brown, “Schoolgirls need protection from forced marriage, Ofsted warned,” The Guardian (September 26, 2015). UK based campaigner, Jasvinder Sanghera of Karma Nirvana has called on school regulatory body, Ofsted, to require schools to address forced marriage as well as stricter penalties requiring institutional responses to signs of forced marriage and training for nurses, doctors and midwives. Read here.
Peter Blackburn, “Sex education to include porn, female genital mutilation and forced marriage,” Nottingham Post (September 24, 2015). Nottingham City Council in the UK is working with schools to increase sex education for young people including FGM/C and forced marriage into the curriculum. Read here.
Louise Tickle, “Criminalising forced marriage fails to protect girls,” The Guardian (September 22, 2015). This article outlines the limitations of criminal measures and forced marriage protection orders in protecting young women and girls from abuse in the UK. Read here.
“Victims of forced marriage offered support,” Signal News (August 22, 2015). Interview with organization, Savana, in Stoke-on-Trent, UK who supports survivors of forced marriage. Read here.
“Stoke-on-Trent Imam and councilor speak out about forced marriage and ‘honour’ abuse” Signal News (August 21, 2015). Interview with an Imam from Stoke-on-Trent in the UK who says that he wants victims of forced marriage to be able to seek help in their own communities. Read here.
“Naila Amin: Survivor of Forced Marriage,” AHA Foundation (August 19, 2015). This article tells the story of Naila Amin, a survivor of forced marriage in the U.S., who was forced into marriage in Pakistan. Read here.
“Police in Staffordshire on tackling forced marriage,” Signal News (August 19, 2015). Police in Staffordshire, UK interviewed on forced marriage and report that they have dealt with 190 cases in the past five years, as well as saying that links with other agencies is key to tackling forced marriage and “honor abuse.” Read here.
“Schools tackling forced marriage and honour based abuse,” Signal News (August 18, 2015). Stoke on Trent local authority in the UK says that schools are key in addressing forced marriage and “honour based violence.” Karma Nirvana quoted saying there have been 140 deaths due to forced marriage or “honor based violence” since 2003. Story also includes a radio news report. Read here.
David Lee, “Ethics Complaint Against Religious Judge,” Courthouse News (August 18, 2015). The Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion foundation has filed a complaint against the East Texas Judge who ordered a defendant to marry his girlfriend and write bible verses. Read here.
“Tougher penalties to combat forced marriage,” Minister for Justice – Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter Terrorism, The Hon Michael Keenan, MP (August 12, 2015). Press release from Australian government on new laws against forced marriage which increase maximum penalties and clarify children and consent. Read here.
Batya Ungar-Sargon “Why Do So Many Jews Who Leave The Ultra-Orthodox Community Commit Suicide?” Gothamist (August 12, 2015). This article covers difficulties faced by ex-members of the ultra-orthodox Hasidic and Neturei KartaJewish communities, focusing in particular on high-suicide rates and mental ill health. Covers story of forced marriage survivor Sara Erenthal who left community to escape a marriage at age 16. Read here.
Rachel Eddie, “Inside the creepy world of Gloriavale: Secretive New Zealand cult where teenagers are banned from speaking to each other until they marry – and the men choose who can have children with whom,” Daily Mail Australia (August 9, 2015). This article summarizes a documentary covering the Gloriavale community in New Zealand including marriage practices. Read here.
Judith Ireland, “Domestic violence advice pack for women who move to Australia,” Sydney Morning Herald (August 7 2015). Australia will be issuing information packs to women coming to the country on spousal visas describing Australian laws against rape, domestic violence, and forced marriage, including emergency and support contact information and highlighting that women do not have to stay in their relationship to stay in the country. Read here.
Tony Marco, “Man gets a choice: Marry her or go to jail,” CNN (August 8, 2015). This article highlights the case of a Texas judge who ordered a man to marry his girlfriend in order to avoid jail time. The girl’s father has come out against the ruling and an ethics complaint has been filed by the by the Freedom From Religion Foundation as of August 13th, 2015. Read here.
Archi Pyati, “I Learned to Follow, and Real Change Happened,” Huffington Post Blog (August 6 2015). Tahirih’s Archi Pyati describes successes advocacy against FGM/C in the United States and tells the story of survivor, Jaha Dukureh. Read here.
Keith Uhlig, “Hmong leaders seek to legalize cultural weddings,” Wausau Daily Herald (August 6, 2015). This article describes advocacy efforts by Hmong leaders in Wisconsin to change state law to give legal status to cultural weddings. Advocates of the change in law say that it would strengthen the position of marriage negotiators, Mejkoob, and streamline the marriage process for those having traditional Hmong weddings. Advocates feel that this would prevent forced or child marriages. Read here.
Lisa Ryan, “There Are More Child Marriages Happening in 2015 Than You Think: A Q&A,” Flygirl – Jezebel (August 6, 2015). Marking the change in law in Spain, raising the ages of marriage and consent from 14 to age 16, this article interviews Heather Barr, from Human Rights Watch on child marriage around the world and the recent HRW research focusing on child marriage on Bangladesh and highlights the effect of climate change on child marriage. Read here.
Emily Dyer, “Forced marriage in the UK? It’s a bigger problem than you think,” New Statesman (August 4, 2015). This article highlights the extent of forced marriage in the UK as an under-reported issue, he challenges professionals face in identifying cases of forced marriage, and the need for better awareness raising and training. Read here.
“Forced Marriages Not Confined to South Asian Cultures – Study,” The Weekly Voice (July 31, 2015). Advocates from MOSAIC in Vancouver have conducted a survey study to help identify forced marriage cases in Canada. The survey results highlight that forced marriage is not exclusive to South Asian communities and that agencies lack guidelines, policies or best practice for dealing with cases of forced marriage. Read here.
Tara Carman, “B.C. groups aim to track statistics on forced marriages,” Vancouver Sun (July 30, 2015). Immigrant services organization, MOSAIC, is teaming up with the Ending Violence Association of B.C. for a two-month project funded by the federal Justice Department to help outreach workers and police identify and document suspected cases of forced marriage and build data on the number of forced marriages in Canada. Read here.
Mohammed Samaana, “Sharia law bans forced marriages,” Belfast Telegraph (July 28, 2015). This article addresses the misconception that forced marriage is an Islamic practice by highlighting that it is forbidden by Sharia law. Read here.
Estelle Morris, “What should really happen when a child goes missing from school?” The Guardian (July 28, 2015). This article focuses on raising awareness of children disappearing from school and the part FGM, forced marriage, and child exploitation has in this. “Inspectors visited 14 schools, which between them had had 1,000 students removed from the register in one school year – an average of 70 children in each school.” Read here.
Christi Parsons, “Young Africans combine hope and energy to shape their future,” Los Angeles Times (July 27, 2015). This article tells the story of Pretty Arojojoye, a women from a Christian family in South Africa. Arojojoye was forced to marry a man who got her pregnant at 18. After 9 years of abuse she set out to begin her own life. Arojojoye has studied in the US and now runs 2 women’s shelters and a nonprofit, Ark of Hope Southern Africa, that helps rescue girls from forced marriages and human trafficking and get them back into education. Read here.
Caroline Mortimer, “World minimum marriage age: Chart shows the lowest age you can legally get married around the world,” The Independent (July 25, 2015). Now that Spain has raised the marriage age from 14 to 16, Estonia holds the lowest marriage age at 15. A provided chart lists the legal marriage age of boys and girls in countries around the world. However, the article highlights that there are many countries around the world in which these laws are undermined to engage in forced, early, and child marriage. Read here.
Emily Dugan, “Karma Nirvana: Spending a day at the helpline advising terrified girls being pushed into forced marriages,” The Independent (July 25, 2015). This article discusses a “day-in-the-life” at Karma Nirvana’s helpline. The helpline manager describes recently having nearly 57 calls in one day, which she attributes to the summer months that increase the threats of forced marriage. Read here.
Reuters, “Spain raises minimum age for marriage, sex to 16,” Daily Mail (July 23, 2015). Spain raised the minimum age for marriage and sexual relations to 16 on Thursday from previous minimum ages of 14 years old for marriage with judicial permission and and 13 years old for sexual relations. Read here.
Rosamund Urwin, “Rosamund Urwin: Education is the best way to stop forced marriages,” London Evening Standard (July 23, 2015). The article spotlights Aneeta Prem, founder of UK based charity Freedom, and highlights the organization’s success in providing school based training and education on forced marriage. Read here.
June Eric-Udorie, “How far have we come in a year in the fight against FGM and child marriage?” New Statesman (July 22, 2015). This article discusses the progress made in fighting FGM and forced marriage since last year’s Girls Summit conference co-hosted by the UK government and UNICEF. At the Summit last year many Governments made commitments to end these practices in a decade. Read here.
June Eric-Udorie, “How far have we come in a year in the fight against FGM and child marriage?” New Statesman (July 22, 2015). This article discusses the progress made in fighting FGM and forced marriage since last year’s Girls Summit conference co-hosted by the UK government and UNICEF. At the Summit last year many Governments made commitments to end these practices in a decade. Read here.
Emily Dugan, “Forced marriage: Asian victims being put at risk by closures of services set up to protect them.” The Independent (July 21, 2015). Cities in Britain dealing with budget cuts are leaving services that provide specialized help for black, Asian, and minority ethnic and refugee women facing forced marriage vulnerable to closure. Read here.
Emily Dugan, “Forced marriage: Summer is the season when many teens have every reason to be fearful,” The Independent (July 20, 2015). This article explains the work of the Forced Marriage Unit in the UK, highlighting that July is the busiest month for families to send their girls abroad to marry, with the extent of how many cases remaining unknown until September when school resumes. The article also tells the story of a male survivor in the UK who received assistance from the Forced Marriage Unit. Read here.
Emily Dugan, “Forced marriage: Calls to helpline double in the past five years,” The Independent (July 17, 2015). This article calls attention to new data released from UK charity Karma Nirvana which handled more than 8,268 calls for help to their honor violence and forced marriage helpline last year – almost double the number in 2010. Read here.
Emily Dugan, “Forced marriage: One British woman’s story shows how much it matters to step up the fight,” The Independent (July 17, 2015). This article tells the story of a British woman who escaped attempted sexual assault from her brother in-law and efforts made by her family to force her into marriage forced marriage. Read here.
Emily Dugan, “Forced marriage: How hundreds of terrified British victims of the tradition are being failed every year by the services they need most,” The Independent (July 17, 2015). This article mentions the failures of services to identify/help forced marriage situations, even with the legislation in place. The article quotes Emily Dyer and a Derby College professor, Jon Agymen, who recognized the issue in his own classroom after hearing Karma Nirvana speak on the issue of honor-based violence and forced marriage. The minister for preventing abuse and exploitation in the UK is quoted urging the appropriate training and guidance of professionals to tackle the issue. Read here.
Paul Bibby, “Father who arranged for daughter, 12, to marry man, 26, jailed for 6 years,” The Sydney Morning Herald (July 17, 2015). In Australia, a father who arranged for his 12-year-old daughter to marry a 26-year-old university student has been sentenced to a minimum of six years in prison. Read here.
Emily Dugan, “Forced marriage: ‘I just thought it was a normal family holiday’,” The Independent (July 16,2015). This article presents the story of an east London girl who, from the age of 13, faced mounting pressureto marry her cousin. Her parents regularly used physical violence and threats in an attempt to get her to acquiesce to the marriage and while she made many attempts to get help from social services her case was repeatedly mishandled until finally she was given refuge and awarded a forced marriage protection order with the help of the Southall Black Sisters charity. Read here.
Zinhle Mapumulo,“Teen brides: Girls forced to say ‘I do’,” City Press (July 15, 2015). This article highlights a UN report which revealed that 7% of women in South Africa are married before age 18. While this is a small percentage in comparison to countries such as Malawi (62%) many believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. The article also mentions as World Vision report which found that a majority of respondents had married as a result of losing their virginity and that their spouses were, on average, between eight and 20 years older than them. Read here.
“South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner condemns honour-based violence and forced marriage,” The Star (July 14. 2015). The Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire in the UK expressed the priority in protecting those that are vulnerable to honor crimes on the day of memory for honor violence victims. Read here.
Laura Tacey, “Forced marriage survivor reveals horror of how her family lined her up to wed stranger,” Mirror (July 14, 2015). This article features the story of a brave survivor that spoke during the UK’s day of remembrance for honor violence victims. Her story highlights the abuse and threat of death many victims experience from parents and other family members that are arranging forced marriages. With the help of the Forced Marriage Unit she was able to flee her situation and is now a volunteer at the Liverpool charity, Savera, an organization that tackles domestic abuse within Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee Communities. Read and Watch here.
Katie Ngyuen, “UK woman groomed at 10 for marriage, speaks for ‘honor’ crime victims,” Reuters (July 14,2015). This article highlights a young woman’s courage to share her forced marraige story, along with other victims of honor violence, during the national day for victims of honor crimes sponsored by the UK organization Karma Nirvana. Read here.
Charlotte Cox, “Whalley Range pupils mark first annual Remembrance Day for victims of forced marriage as part of new initiative,” Manchester Evening News (July 14, 2015). A high school in the UK is hosting Britain’s first ‘remembrance event’ in honor of women who suffer forced marriages and honor-based violence. The article includes Shafilea Ahmed’s story and the story of a forced marraige survivor who stood up to her family’s pressure. Read here.
“200 ‘honour crimes’ recorded in West Yorkshire,” The Yorkshire Post (July 13, 2015). The National Day of Remembrance for Britain’s Lost Women is being held on the birthday of honor-based violence victim, Shafilea Ahmed (July 14). Ahmed was killed by her parents in 2013 after experiencing several honor based abuses, including an attempted forced marriage. The article discusses the importance of being aware of forced marriage situations during the summer months as this is the riskiest time for crimes, such as Ahmed’s, to occur. Read here.
“Karen Bradley visits Forced Marriage Unit,” Gov.UK (July 13, 2015). The Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation visited the FMU to learn more about how they not only help victims, but service providers in the UK as well. Read here.
“Girls in Rotterdamn told how to avoid forced marriages,” Dutch News (July 2, 2015). The Dutch organization, Femmes voor Freedom, issued pens to girls throughout the Rotterdam that contained tips on how to avoid forced marriage over the summer. The contact information of organizations was included inside of the pen and tips, such as hiding a teaspoon in their clothes before heading through airport security, were also included. Read here.
RDM News Wire, “ ‘SA needs to do more to eliminate child marriages’,” Times Live (June 29, 2015). The Centre for Child Law in South Africa has called for urgent attention to legislation that protects children from harmful cultural practices and criminalizes child and forced marriages. Read here.
Priya Joshi, “UK: Father jailed for marrying 14-year-old daughter off to 30-year-old man,” International Business Times (June 29, 2015). A Manchester man is in jail after forcing his daughter to marry a 30-year-old man in their home the morning of her 14th birthday, subjecting her to sexual assault from her much older husband. Read here.
Laura Bates, “Forced Marriage is still a big problem in the UK. What more can we do?” The Guardian (June 26, 2015). Even though the first man was finally been jailed under the forced-marriage laws in the UK, addressing the breadth of the issue of forced marriage has been slow. However, the organization, Respond, has launched the “My Life, My Marriage” project which challenges the practice of forced marriage among people with learning disabilities. Read here.
Debra Black, “Forced marriage focus of award-winning Canadian documentary,” The Star (June 25, 2015). This article discusses the award winning documentary “Listen to Me” by Lalita Krishna. Lalita collaborated with Deepa Mattoo of the South Asian Legal Clinic and Farrah Khan of the Barbra Schlifer Legal Clinic to create the documentary, as well as touches on the Izzat Project‘s advocacy. Read and watch here.
“Countering ‘honour’ crimes and forced marriage,” Economic and Social Research Council (June 2015). Dr. Aisha K. Gill is a leading light in the research of violence against women, ‘honour crimes’, and forced marriage. Her work has even assisted the UK government’s Forced Marriage Unit. The article, along with a short video, discusses her research on violence against women. Read and watch here.
Stella Dawson, “INTERVIEW-Naila’s story: How a New York girl escaped forced marriage,” Thomas Reuters Foundation (June 23, 2015). Naila Amin, a resident of New York and survivor of forced marriage, tells her story of abuse and assault as she was forced to marry at age 15. Read here.
Maria Monastiriotis, “ Forced Marriage in Australia,” slatergordonlawyers.com (June 23, 2015). Specific forced marriage laws were introduced in Australia in 2013. With these laws in place and the awareness of forced marriage in western countries growing, Australian lawyers are learning how to identify and represent victims in forced marriage situations. Read here.
Joyce Hackel, “You think coerced marriages aren’t a problem for women in the US? Think again,” PRI.org (June 22, 2015).
This article centers on the story of Fraidy Reiss who founded the organization Unchained At Last, after she faced an abusive forced marriage situation. The article includes a radio interview of Fraidy as well as her friend and Unchained At Last client, Syeda. Read and Listen here.
Reena Kumar “ ‘I ran away to escape forced marriage’,” Asian Times (June 18, 2015). The article tells the story of a young women who fled her family’s pressure to get married and the measures she had to take to avoid backlash from avoiding marriage and running away. The young women was able to change her name and take control of her life with the help of Freedom Charity. Read here.
“Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act receives Royal Assent – Legislation protects vulnerable immigrant women and girls,” CNW Group (June 18, 2015) The article provides a run-down of what exactly the S-7 bill enforces, and provides input on it’s intention from the Citizenship and Immigration Minister and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Read here.
“MEC Weziwe Thusi calls on youth formations to fight against forced underage marriages,” South African Government (June 18, 2015). During a Youth Parliament sitting in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Weziew Thusi, has announced that South African youth must lead campaigns against forced marriage and that victims should seek help. Read here.
Aisha K. Gill, “Criminalising forced marriage has not helped its victims,” The Conversation (June 17, 2015). This article points out that improper enforcement of the UK laws on forced marriage, along with the inability to properly prosecute may result in victims becoming even more vulnerable at home and in their communities. It also brings to attention the need for assistance that enforcing this law will bring as victims come forward and are left on their own and in need. Read here.
Ashley Csanady, “’Barbaric Cultural Practices’ bill to criminalize forced marriage, tackle ‘honour killings’ passes final vote,” The Vancouver Sun (June 17, 2015).
This article highlights the passing of Bill S-7 by 182-84 votes and the hesitance in allowing the word barbaric to remain in place in the title. Many advocacy groups worry that even though the bill has passed, the language may scare victims from coming forward. Read here.
Emily Dyer, “Britain’s first forced marriage sentence: a lot more still to do,” New Statesman (June 16, 2015). This article provides more on how the first conviction under forced marriage laws in the UK is a step forward, but not a complete success. Organizations, such as Karma Nirvana, are filing in the gaps and working to educate police on what this issue is and how to deal/ identify it to expand the potential of these laws. Read here.
“Summer season sees increased risk of forced marriage,” The Brussels Times (June 16, 2015). This article highlights the Institute for Gender Equality’s warning that summer is a high-risk time for young people subject to forced marriage. In anticipation the IEFH along with the Migration and Marriage Network created a handbook for professionals who may be in contact with those at risk. Read here.
“India Second on the List of Forced Marriage Cases in UK,” NDTV.com (June 16,2015). India is the country in which the second highest number of British nationals facing forced marriage are sent. As the year old legislation criminalizing forced marriage in the UK protects nationals overseas, this places a close eye on the country. Read here.
“Fear, guilt stops UK forced brides speaking out despite landmark case,” Reuters (June 15, 2015).
In this article, victim of forced marriage and UK citizen, Aisha Elahi, shares her story and expresses reservations about the UK’s legislation against forced marriage. Read here.
Shaheen Hashmat, “I escaped the threat of forced marriage by my family,” The Telegraph (June 11, 2015). In light of the recent UK conviction of a forced marriage case, survivor of forced marriage herself, Shaheen Hashmat, shares her story and writes on the importance this legal step holds for victims and advocates. Read here.
Yasminra Khan, “Why are there so few forced marriage prosecutions?,” BBC (June 10, 2015). This article outlines the UK’s new legislation, which threatens 7 years in prison to any perpetrators of forced marriage. Although progressive the doubts and potential for ineffectiveness are also expressed. Read here.
Press Association, “Businessman is first person jailed under forced marriage laws,” The Guardian (June 10, 2015). On top of his sentencing, the first man convicted under forced marriage laws in the UK was given an extended five years license and will remain as a sex offender indefinitely. Lian Penhale of the South Wales police is also quoted addressing concerns over victims feeling hesitant to come forward, out of fear of placing themselves under more harm and attention. Read here.
Genevieve Gannon, “Vic man jailed over honour killing plot,” Australian Associated Press (June 10, 2015). A Melbourne man is in jail after plotting the murder of his cousin’s husband, whom denied his proposal of marriage. Read here.
“Forced marriage jail first as Cardiff man sentenced,” BBC News (June 10, 2015). This article and video highlight the first ever prosecution of forced marriage as a criminal offence in the UK and provide an analysis of the case as well as the impact of criminalization in the UK. Read and watch here.
“In Malaysia, the legal minimum marriage age is 18 for non-Muslims and 16 for Muslims,” The Star (June 5, 2015). The Mental Health Promotion Advisory Council of Malaysia is urging the Malaysian government to review and revise the set minimum age of marriage for all Malaysians. The legal minimum age is 18 for non-muslims and 16 for Muslims, providing opportunity for child marriages. Read here.
Catherine Porter, “The wrong way to tackle forced marriages: Porter,” The Star (Jun 5, 2015). As the Toronto based advocates from the Pomegranate Tree Group teamed up with Tahirih for the Honoring our Heartbeats tour, Canada began pushing the “Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act.” Even though the act seeks to deter forced marriage, advocates including Deepa Matoo from the South Asian Legal Clinic are voicing major concerns. Read here.
Arifa Nasim, “’Forced marriage isn’t cultural, it’s abuse,’” TES (June 5, 2015). This article highlights a piece written by a student advocate pushing to raise awareness about forced marriage in UK schools . Read here.
“Students Learn Forced Marriage Lesson,” Newcastle Borough Council (June 3, 2015). Advocate and forced marriage survivor Jasvinder Sanghera traveled to Newcastle-under-Lyme College to raise awareness among students about forced marriage, domestic abuse, and honor based violence. Read here.
Women’s rights organizations denounce religious marriage ruling,” Today’s Zaman (June 2, 2015). Women’s rights organizations are fighting against a recent court ruling in Turkey, which allows a religious marriage to be valid without a formal certificate. This legalization could increase the risk of forced marriage for individuals taken overseas to Turkey. Read here.
Special Correspondent, “Child Marriage Stopped,” The Hindu (May 27,2015). This article hightlights the story of yet another young girl in India who was able to avoid a forced marriage though assistance from the staff of Childline Helpline. Read here.
“Spanish police rescue girl sold for marriage by parents,” RTE News (May 26, 2015). Spanish police found and rescued an 11-year old girl forced by her family to live with and marry a man under a contract that would award them 17,000 euros. After suspicion that a minor had been sold into marriage by her parents, further investigation revealed that the girl had been abused, raped, and exploited soon after her departure from Spain. Read here.
Nisha Lilia Diu, “Suicide is now the biggest killer of teenage girls worldwide, Here’s why…,” The Telegraph (May 25, 2015). This article highlights the fact that suicide has become the leading cause of death of teenage girls worldwide and the dominant role that gender discrimination and marginalization play in this statistic. In many areas of the world teenage girls are removed from school and forced to marry. Such pressures can lead to a lack of agency, loss of hope, and appear to result in many feeling as though there is no other way out. Read here.
Jess Tomlin, “In Nepal, the Road to Recovery Lies in Persistence of Women,” The Huffington Post (May 23, 2015). In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, women and girls are increasingly vulnerable. Women’s organizations such as Her Turn and Women’s Awareness Centre Nepal are acting quickly to deter forced marriage and human trafficking by educating girls and assisting them to remain in school. Read here.
Talia Shadwell, “Police get guidelines on investigating forced marriages,” stuff.co.nz (May 23, 2015). New Zealand police are being educated on how to identify forced marriage situations as it is now seen as an ’emerging problem’ among immigrant populations. Noted situations include: dowry-related abuse, bride burning, and acid attacks. New guidelines implemented into police manuals highlight the warning signs and advise officers on what to do if there is suspected endangerment. Read here.
Louise Cheer, “Police are investigation dozens of suspected forced marriages in Australia…and almost all of them involve girls younger than 18 – and on who is just NINE,” The Daily Mail UK (May 17, 2015). In 2013 forced marriage was criminalized in Australia and convicted perpetrators can now face 4-25 years in prison. Since criminalization there have been 42 referrals of suspected forced marriages since and Australian Federal Police have accepted further investigation of 34. Thirty of these cases involve children under 18 and one case involved a 9-year-old. Read here.
“Domestic violence understanding encouraging, says council,” Galloway Gazette (May 16, 2015) This article provides statistics from a survey conducted by the Domestic Abuse and Violence against Women Partnership (DAVAWP) of Dumfires and Galloway, Ireland. The results highlight public understanding of domestic abuse and gender violence, including forced marriage. Read here.
“Finally Free,” greencardbride.kinja.com (May 8,2015). This personal account from a survivor of forced marriage expresses her difficult but inspiring fight to freedom. Read here.
Rachel Browne, “Canada Wants to Make Forced Marriage a Crime,” Vice News (May 7,2015). This article reviews the buzz around Bill S-7, the Canadian government’s proposed legislation that would make forced marriage a crime, a first of its kind. Read here.
“Women’s league supports virginity testing,” News 24 (May 1st, 2015). While virginity testing is remaining acceptable, a Harry Gwala Regional ANC Women’s League in South Africa has committed to abolishing the cultural practice of forced marriage in their community. Read here.
Ashifa Kassam, “Spain moves to raise minimum marriage age to 16,” The Guardian (April 28th, 2015). After children’s advocates expressed concern over the vulnerability that current laws leave, lawmakers in Spain are pulling together legislation to raise the minimum age of marriage to 16 years old. Read here.
Jeanne Abdul Khalik, “New program in Fairfield to keep teen girls out of forced marriages through education,” News Local (April 27th, 2015). A Sydney women’s health service launched a program to teach girls to stand up to gender-based violence. The program will not only teach the girls about issues such as forced marriage and domestic violence, but will also allow them to receive their TAFE qualifications at the same time. Read here.
Janice Burns, “Legal support landmark for women in peril as new national centre is set up by Rape Crisis Scotland,” The National (April 23, 2015). The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre is a new national center set up by Rape Crisis Scotland in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde and the Legal Services Agency. The Glasgow-based center will offer a variety of legal resources, impact policy, and awareness for victims of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, stalking, human trafficking, forced marriage and female genital mutilation. Read here.
Matthew Hendley, “Phoenix Woman, Forced Into Marriage by Family, Is Brutally Assaulted by ‘Husband’,” Phoenix New Times (April 22, 2015). A young woman in Pheonix was violently sexually assaulted by the 30-year-old man her parents were forcing her to marry. After fleeing for 15 days, the girl returned to finish high school and was later forced by family members inside her prospective husband’s home, where the assault took place. Read here.
“New files charged in alleged ‘honor killing’ of Iranian student, best friend’s husband,” ABC13 Eyewitness News (April 22, 2015). In Texas a family is facing murder charges for what authorities are stating was an ‘Honor Killing’ of their daughter, Nadia Irsan’s, best friend and husband. The killings are said to have been in response to Nadia choosing to marry a Christian man. Read here.
Monica Ellena, “Georgia’s Child Brides: Opting for Marriage over School,” Eurasianet.org (April 21, 2015). According to a study by the United Nations Population Fund, 17% of Georgian women marry before turning 18. This statistic, along with the alarming number of girls quitting school the past few years, has pushed The Ministry of Education to approve plans for a national meeting aimed at parents, education specialists, and psychologists that will promote discussion of the dangers of underage marriage. Read here.
Jennifer Friesen, “Calgary documentary says forced marriages aren’t too far from home,” Metro News (April 21, 2015). Debuting filmmaker, Iman Bukhrari’s, documentary Forced seeks to open up a dialog on the issue of forced marriage in Canada. The young Calgary woman created the documentary in an effort to focus on the nondiscriminatory presence forced marriage has among people of varying backgrounds. The film was presented by the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association at the John Dutton Theater to mark the 10th annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. Read here.
Hannah James and Megan Rowney, “To Honour and Obey: Women and girls forced to wed against their will,” Global News (April 16, 2015). This article provides an in-depth interview of a young Canadian girl who was forced into marriage and discusses the new bill introduced by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander would criminalize forced marriage in the country. Read here.
Radhika Sanghani, “Labour’s Naz Shah: ‘My family blackmailed me into marriage at 15’” The Telegraph (April 16, 2015). In this article Naz Shah, a Parlimentary candidate in the UK discusses her reasons for becoming involved in politics in an open letter, which describes her own forced marriage experience. Shah hopes to encourage community development and activism in order to address forced marriage and create change. Read here.
Jennifer Ludden, “Thousands of Young Women in U.S. Forced into Marriage” NPR All Things Considered (April 14, 2015). This segment highlighted the story of Lina, a U.S. survivor of forced marriage. Layli Miller-Muro, executive director of the Tahirih Justice Center, also discussed the harmful conditions women face in forced marriages and how U.S. laws are not designed to address the complexities of such situations. Listen here.
Sophie McCoid, “Police at Liverpool John Lennon airport to raise awareness of human trafficking,” Liverpool Echo (April 10, 2015). In anticipation of the holiday travel season, police officers spoke with travelers at the Liverpool John Lennon airport about human trafficking in hopes that people will report concerns. Natalie Perischine, Detective Chief Inspector from the Liverpool Protecting Vulnerable People unit, reported that such efforts are aimed at addressing forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honor violence. Read here.
Koride Mahesh, “New law soon to check sham marriages,” The Times of India (April 9, 2015). This article focused on a new law that has been enacted in Telangana, India in order to end false marriages. The law is an effort to prevent marriages between foreigners and minors in the Southern state, where older men from foreign countries provide payment for a bride. Read here.
Lakshmi Gandhi, “Escaping tradition (and a forced marriage),” METRO (April 7, 2015). In this article Aisha Saeed, author of Written in the Stars, describes the experience of forced marriage through the stories of her friends and those close to her. Her novel explores the complexity of forced marriage situations and the struggle of one courageous young woman to resist and escape. Read here.
Jean Patrick, “What if hope is stronger than the impossible?” The Daily Republic (April 4, 2015). In this article the author provides a synopsis and review of Aisha Saeed’s new young adult fictions novel, Written in the Stars. Read here.
Amelia Pang, “The Incredible True Story of a 15-year-old American Escaping Forced Marriage,” The Epoch Times (March 27, 2015). This article describes the story of Naila Amin, a U.S. citizen who was forced to marry her cousin. The author explores the issue of forced marriage in the United States and guotes Tahirih Justice Center’s 2011 survey on forced marriage in the U.S. Read here.
Paola Battista,”Belgium sounds the alarm on child marriage,” West (March 26, 2015). With more than 56 complaints received by authorities in 2010, non-governmental organizations and institutions are requesting stronger measures from the Belgium government in order to combat forced marriage in the country. Read here.
Dave Himelfied, “Law firm Makin Dixon says child sex abuse grooming ‘massive issue’ for Huddersfield,” The Huddersfield Daily Examiner (March 24, 2015). This article discusses a large increase in grooming cases found in Huddersfield by the law firm Makin Dixon. Partners of the firm who specialize in family law have been working to obtain protection injunctions for victims. In addition to child sex abuse, 100 cases of forced marriage and hundreds of ‘honour’ violence and female genital mutilation have also been reported. Read here.
Pamela Constable, “Women’s groups campaign in D.C. to help victims of forced marriages,” The Washington Post (March 21, 2015). Last March 2015, Tahirih Justice Center and the Pomegranate Tree Group concluded a nationwide tour to end forced marriage in the United States along with advocates and partner organizations. In addition to educating service providers, teachers, and the general public on the issue of forced marriage, the goal of the tour emphasized the need for a national action plan and laws in the U.S. to specifically address forced marriage. Read here. The article included misleading information and a subsequent letter to the editor, written by Tahirih Justice Center Executive Director Layli Miller-Muro set the record straight. Read here.
Samuel G. Freedman, “Woman Breaks Through Chains of Forced Marriage, and Helps Others Do the Same,” The New York Times (March 20, 2015). This article features Fraidy Reiss, founder of Unchained At Last – a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women extricate themselves from arranged or forced marriage here in the U.S. Read here.
Aisha A Elahi, “My sister killed herself after being forced into a marriage she didn’t want,” Cosmopolitan (March 17, 2015). In this article Elahi describes her new book, Shackled Sisters, as a way to elevate the voices of women who have not escaped forced marriage and are suffering abuse. She shared one of the pieces in her book, a letter written in memory of one of her school friends who had committed suicide. Read here.
Keiligh Baker, “Roma gypsy girls as young as 12 are being ‘forced to live in arranged marriage in scandal-hit Rotherham,” Daily Mail (March 14, 2015). This article highlights the issue of underage marriage in Rotherham, a larger town in South Yorkshire. Yorkshire authorities are committed to working with community groups and local agencies to address the issue of underage or forced marriage. Read here.
“The Girl Summit – ending female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage,” UK Government (March 12, 2015). Forty-two governments signed the Girl Summit Charter which outlines specific actions to end FGM as well as Child, Early, and Forced Marriage. Read here. However, lack of support from the United States to address forced marriage still remains, see article from Tahirih Justice Center.
“Family tried to force gay son to marry,” The Local (March 12, 2015). This article describes the forced marriage experience of Nasser El-A, a young man from Germany who came out to his family when he was 15 years old. After threats and physical violence from his family, El-A ran away from home and found difficulty seeking shelter and protection. Read here.
Siw Ellen Jacobsen, “Out on a limb after forced marriage,” Science Nordic (March 10, 2015).
Shelters have been established in Norway to provide safe refuge and assistance to young women fleeing forced marriage and family violence. This article outlines the comprehensive, six-month program and highlights the fact that shelter employees and those seeking services continue to see a need for further support following the conclusion of the six-month period. Read here.
Rosa Prince, “Murderer’s daughter Naz Shah tells why she is standing for Parliament,” The Telegraph (March 9, 2015). This article shares the life story of Naz Shah, Labour Party candidate for Bradford West in the United Kingdom. The articles details the experiences of forced marriage and abuse Shah and her family suffered and how this motivated Shah to become active in politics. Read here.
Samantha Maiden, “Australian Underage Marriage Laws to be Tightened,” The Daily Telegraph (March 8, 2015). This article discusses the Abbott Government’s move to strengthen the country’s existing laws after a variety of underage marriage cases had been reported. The most significant change would indicate that children under the age of 16 would not be able to consent to a marriage. Such amendments could possibly assist authorities in investigating forced marriages. Read here.
Heather Saul, “International Women’s Day 2015: The shameful statistics that show why it is still important,” The Independent (March 6, 2015). This article discusses why International Women’s Day is needed and highlights the record number of calls the United Kingdom’s forced marriage and honour-based abuse helpline received in 2014. Read here.
Alex Stevenson, “How fear of racism meant forced marriage went unchallenged in Britain,” Politics (March 6, 2015). As of September 2014, an estimated 762 applications for forced marriage protection orders have been submitted in the UK. This number is much higher than what was expected when forced marriage protection orders were first introduced in 2008. Read here.
“Melbourne Schoolgirl’s distress over forced marriage,” 3AW (February 26, 2015). Refugee advocates and Melbourne authorities learned of a 16-year-old girl being forced into marriage after a school social worker reported the case. Read here.
Lisa Anderson, “Online Tool Joins Fight against Forced Marriage in U.S.,” Reuters (February 20, 2015). A new website launched by the Tahirih Justice Center aims to tackle the hidden problem of forced marriage in the United States. Designed to be a one-stop resource for individuals facing forced marriage and those trying to help them, preventforcedmarriage.org provides a guide to legal rights, sources for emergency shelter, legal services, and counseling, and hotlines and phone numbers for other agencies that individuals can call for assistance. Read more.
Linda Whitwam, “Campaigners call on Kirklees pupils and schools to play a leading role in national action against forced marriage,” The Huddersfield Daily Examiner (February 18, 2015). This article highlights how Kirklees Council schools are educating students about human rights and protections in order to help prevent forced marriage in their communities. Read here.
Jake Bourke, “Victoria Police concerned by number of forced marriages going unreported,” 3AW (February 17, 2015). Unreported cases of forced marriage are a concern of police in Victoria, Australia. This comes after learning about a case in Melbourne where a woman ran away from her home. Read here.
Jessica Cree, “No arrests spark worry over new forced marriage legislation,” Lancashire Telegraph (February 16, 2015). With the new law in the United Kingdom that established forced marriage as a criminal act, the lack of implementation by law enforcement in Lancashire has become a concern. Read here.
Chris Peregrine “Swansea Student turns to art to tackle arranged marriage issue in memory of teenage, ‘honour killing’ victim,” South Wales Evening Post (February 04, 2015). Sheree Naqvi, a student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, supports a campaign by producing creative images to highlight forced marriage. The objective of the campaign, ‘In Memory of Shafilea Ahmed’ is to empower and engage young women around the issue. Read here.
Laura Neve Tacey, “Special feature: support for people forced into marriage,” Halifax Courier (February 2, 2015).This article discusses the implementation of a new law in England and Wales, which marks forced marriage in the United Kingdom, or of UK nationals abroad, as a criminal offense. Karma Nirvana, an agency supporting victims of honor based violence and forced marriage, welcomes the new legislation while working with schools, law enforcement, and the broader community to build awareness and education in order to prevent children from becoming victims. Read here.
Eilish O’Regan, “Tighter laws needed to stop forced marriage,” Irish News (January 30, 2015). In this article Geoffrey Shannon, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, discusses the need for Ireland’s government to address forced marriage in the country’s legal system. Read here.
Michael Kenny, “‘Married at 15 to a man twice your age’ – ads against under-age marriage target migrants,” Special Broadcasting Service (January 27, 2015). The article describes the New South Wales’ campaign Child Not Bride, an initiative to create awareness of forced marriage, specifically in migrant communities. The campaign is part of a federal plan launched last year in Australia, which aims to direct more resources for community awareness and capacity building to address forced or child marriage. Read here.
Debra Rubin, “Unchained’ woman forms group to help others,” New Jersey Jewish News (January 26, 2015). This article from a local New Jersey paper highlights the work of Friady Reiss, founder of Unchained at Last, a New Jersey based non-profit dedicated to helping survivors of forced marriage. The article highlights Fraidy’s story of survival as well as the work of her organization. Read here.
Ian Traynor, “Jewish Leaders call for Europe-wide legislation outlawing anti-semitism,” The Guardian (January 25, 2015). European Jewish leaders are calling for pan-European legislation outlawing antisemitism as well as criminalizing a host of other activities deemed to be violating fundamental rights on specious religious, cultural, ethnic and gender grounds including forced marriage. However, given the national disparities on gay rights, libel laws, holocaust denial and more, the proposals represent a legal minefield. Read here.
Ommera Zafar, “Post 2015 toolkit: Make ending child, early and forced marriage a global priority,” Girls Not Brides (January 22, 2015). The Girls Not Brides secretariat has developed a post-2015 advocacy toolkit for members and other organisations that wish to encourage their governments to support a target to end child, early and forced marriage in the post-2015 development agenda. Read here.
Rachel Browne, “Against their will: Inside Canada’s forced marriages,” Macleans (January 5, 2015). In this article, three individuals who resisted forced marriage in Canada are profiled and the Canadian Government’s recently proposed policy changes are discussed. Read here.
Kate Russell, “Cosmo’s campaign for a day to remember the victims of honor killings succeeds,” Cosmopolitan (January 2, 2015). In 2014 Cosmopolitan UK teamed up with the charity Karma Nirvana to campaign for a day to remember the victims of honour killings. With more than 100,000 supporters the campaign was a success and July 14 will officially be recognized in Britain as a day to remember Britain’s Lost Women. Read here.