Kudos to MS Magazine and Angelina Jolie for tackling the compelling global problem of Forced, Early and Child Marriage! We here at GJI hope that the Magazine and Ms. Jolie will use this opportunity to also elevate public awareness about the fact that forced early marriage happens right here in the United States, too.

Currently, the U.S. has very few laws or resources to help our girls avoid or escape forced marriages, and most of the relevant authorities and first responders are not currently trained or funded to intervene on behalf of victims. The Tahirih Justice Center is doing fine work to combat forced marriage – they’re currently conducting a national Heartbeats Tour, and they conducted the first-ever U.S. forced marriage study, which found thousands of forced marriage cases in the U.S. in the two years preceding the study alone. Tahirih’s leadership has made clear that they believe these early numbers represent only the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about how forced, early and child marriage impact women and girls in the U.S., see GJI’s FAQs and U.S. case examples.

Most Americans remain unaware that harmful marriage practices happen frequently right here in the Homeland. So, thank you for bringing attention to this important global issue, MS. and Ms. Jolie – and, please, use this opportunity to also elevate the plight of U.S. women and girls forced into unwanted early marriages!