What is forced marriage?
A forced marriage, by definition, takes place without the full and free consent of one or both parties, and typically involves force, coercion, and deception. Forced marriages can happen to individuals of any gender, age, socio-economic, ethnic or religious background. There are thousands of victims living in the U.S., some of whom were forced into marriages overseas, and others of whom were forced into marriage on U.S. soil (Tahirih Justice Center, 2015).
Specifically, the 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges declares that the 14th Amendment requires all states to perform same-sex marriages and recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.
For days, a 14-year-old girl walked around a Fayetteville motel on Skibo Road wearing nothing but a tight shirt and shorts that barely covered her bottom. She didn’t have shoes or any personal belongings. She didn’t talk to anyone. But she hoped a hotel employee or patron – anyone – would speak to her. She walked around the hallways, up and down stairs and into common areas. Her quiet pleas for help went unanswered.
After Fayetteville police rescued her, Kelly Twedell, director of the Fayetteville Dream Center, asked the girl why she didn’t tell motel employees, or anyone else, she needed help. “Because no one would have believed me,” she said. She didn’t run because she didn’t have shoes or proper clothes.
Her story isn’t unique. She was a victim of human sex trafficking, a $9.5 billion industry in the U.S. that awareness groups say is happening in more places than people realize – including Fayetteville. Victims struggle to get out while law enforcement struggles to get in. Awareness, law enforcement training and more effective legislation are increasing. But while society struggles to keep up, this cottage industry churns on, with lives damaged, profits made and no sure decline in sight.
Find out more about human trafficking.
Senators and their coaches signed the Father’s Day pledge to end gender violence and gathered for a pre-game photo-op with the pledges, in the hopes it would spur fans to do the same.
• All regions have unacceptably high rates of violence against women, with recent global estimates showing that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
• A major obstacle for ending violence against women is the persistence of discriminatory attitudes and social norms that normalise and permit violence.
In One Day, D.C. Unable to Meet 77 Requests from Domestic Violence Victims from Washington City Paper – City Desk 06/11/2015
Of the unmet requests, which increased by 48 percent between 2013 and 2014, 28 were for housing. The other most-requested services, according to the report from the National Network to End Domestic Violence, were for “rental assistance and help with utilities.”