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

Webinar: Supporting Individuals at Risk of Forced Marriage – Guidance for Refugee Service Providers

This webinar provides an overview of the nature and scope of forced and child marriage in the United States, with a focus on its manifestation within refugee communities. Viewers will be equipped with the knowledge and tools to effectively screen for and identify the complex and intersecting dynamics faced by survivors of forced and child marriage and how to provide appropriate support within your mandate and when to make timely and effective referrals.

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Category : Resources Webinars

Webinar: Recognizing When Students Are Facing Forced Marriage – School Social Workers as a Critical Lifeline

Forced marriage impacts students from all religions, cultural backgrounds, national origins, and economic status. The challenges of detection and disclosure of this form of abuse. The challenges of detection and disclosure of this form of abuse can be complicated by the multiple coercive and manipulative tactics employed by close family and community members.

These dynamics are exacerbated for children under age 18 and youth still reliant on their parents or other family, who are often limited in their ability to self-help without the advocacy of a supportive adult. A school social worker may often be the only individual that a youth at risk of forced marriage has regular access to, making the role of school social workers critical at every level: identification, support and referral, direct intervention, and systems advocacy.

Tahirih is proud to share a webinar recording: Recognizing When Students are Facing Forced Marriage – School Social Workers as a Critical Lifeline. This webinar covers the nature and scope of forced marriage in the United States, common dynamics, warning signs and coping mechanisms, and best practices for identifying individuals at risk and starting a supportive conversation.

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Category : Resources Webinars