Forced Travel and Emergency Repatriation – Responding to Forced Marriage Cases When Travel Abroad Occurs

Forced marriages that are threatened or happen abroad can put survivors in especially challenging and dangerous situations. Services may be more difficult to access, and attempting to return to the United States can be difficult and dangerous.

This session will discuss the advanced risk assessment and safety planning required for these cases, the long-term emotional support often required by survivors in a prolonged situation of forced travel, and the interagency coordination required for emergency repatriations.

Hellitz Villegas, FMI Project Manager
Briana Roberts, FMI Project Associate

For more information on how to assist individuals at risk of a forced marriage and safely plan to avoid or prepare for overseas travel, read our tip sheet: Safety Planning for Travel Overseas Tip Sheet .

Category : Resources Webinars

Identifying and Responding to Forced Marriage Cases

Forced and child marriage are significant, yet hidden, problems in the United States that impact individuals from every socio-economic status, ethnic and religious background. While there is growing recognition that these forms of abuse are present in the U.S., many survivors and individuals at risk of all ages still struggle to receive the support and services they need to get safe and rebuild their lives on their own terms.

In this webinar FMI staff cover the nature of forced marriage, the connection between forced marriage and other forms of abuse, such as domestic violence and child abuse, and the unique challenges of providing support and safety-planning in these cases.

Hellitz Villegas, FMI Project Manager
Briana Roberts, FMI Project Associate
Casey Carter Swegman, Director of Public Policy

For more information on how forced marriage intersects with other forms of abuse, read our report: The Intersectionality of Forced Marriage and Other Forms of Abuse in the United States.
For comprehensive guidance for service providers who may encounter individuals facing forced marriage, read our A Framework for Identifying and Responding to Cases of Forced Marriage.

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Category : Resources Webinars

Panel Event: A New Vision for Addressing Forced Marriage in the United States

A panel of national experts discussed how the United States National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence addresses forced and child marriage. Panelists include:

  • Alena Victor, Chief Program Officer, Womankind
  • Grace Huang, Directory of Policy, API-GBV
  • Shenna Morris, Director of Policy, NRCDV
  • Dr. Nusrat Ameen, Senior Director, Daya
  • Casey Swegman, Director of Public Policy, Tahirih Justice Center

Read the full Framework for Addressing Forced and Child Marriage in the U.S. National Action to End Gender Based Violence here.

Naming the Harm and Meeting the Unmet Mental Health Needs of Forced Marriage Survivors in the United States

Dr. Neha Batool highlights the most recent research findings about women’s experiences with forced marriage and identifies the underlying mechanisms that influence the experience of forced marriages. She focuses on women’s psychological wellbeing prior to, during, and after the forced marriage and discusses both short-term and long-term mental health challenges related to attachment styles, identity development, gender socialization, and intergenerational influences.

Forced Marriage Book Launch & Survivor Panel – The Shaytan Bride Sumaiya Matin’s Powerful True Story

Hear from author and survivor of an attempted forced marriage, Sumaiya Matin, as she shares her powerful story of resistance, faith, and love. Following a selected reading and discussion of her recently published memoir, Sumaiya will be joined by fellow survivor advocate, Genevieve Meyer, and Tahirih staff member, Casey Carter Swegman, for a discussion about forced and child marriage in the west and what it means to be a survivor advocate.

Speaker Bios

Sumaiya Matin is a writer, part-time social worker/psychotherapist, and advisor for the Ontario government, working on a wide range of public policy files, such as anti-racism public education initiatives, and mental health frameworks. In her part-time counselling practice, she focuses on integrating faith-based, anti-oppressive, and narrative approaches to support women navigating life transitions and personal relationships. As a writer, Sumaiya has a strong interest in exploring fiction and nonfiction genres to raise awareness of complex personal, global, political issues relevant to the modern-day. Her new memoir, The Shaytan Bride, is the true coming-of-age story of a girl navigating desire and faith. Through her journey into adulthood, she battles herself and her circumstances to differentiate between destiny and free will. Sumaiya Matin’s life in love and violence is a testament to one woman’s strength as she faces the complicated fallout of her decisions.

Genevieve Meyer, MBA, is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Resiliency Foundation. She is a survivor advocate and professional expert on child marriage, human trafficking, and building resiliency. Her story and corresponding work has been featured on major media outlets including Red Table Talk, CBSN and NBC. Genevieve is member of several anti-trafficking networks and consults with organizations on ways to address the issues of human trafficking and child marriage in the United States and around the world.

Casey Carter Swegman serves as Interim Director of Public Policy at the Tahirih Justice Center and Manager of the Forced Marriage Initiative. She is a nationally recognized expert on the issue of forced and child marriage in the U.S. In her role, Casey provides direct social services to individuals facing forced marriages across the U.S., fields technical assistance requests nationally, leads Tahirih’s state and federal policy advocacy on forced and child marriage and chairs the national Forced Marriage Working Group.

Category : Webinars