This awardee has received supplemental funding. This award detail page includes information about both the original award and supplemental awards.
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $256,730)
Forced marriage (FM), a practice that involves a marriage in which one or both parties do not or cannot give consent, has received growing attention in the United States and abroad. Research has found a nexus between FM, intimate partner violence (IPV) and other crimes, including sexual assault and rape (Brandon and Hafez, 2008; Khanun, 2008). According to a 2011 Tahirih Justice Center (TJC) survey, a convenience sample of over 500 respondents in the US identified 3,000 potential or confirmed encounters of FM among women and men from a variety of backgrounds, including South Asian communitiesa group that also made up the majority of FM cases reported to the UK government in 2012 (Forced Marriage Unit, 2012).
The Urban Institute, in collaboration with TJC, requests continuation of funding for their study examining FM among South Asian women and men within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The study will be guided by six primary research questions: (1) What is the nature and prevalence of FM and the intersection of IPV, sexual violence, and other forms of victimization? (2) What are FM risk factors? (3) What is the role of social, cultural, and religious norms surrounding FM? (4) What are the help-seeking behaviors of young women and men who have been threatened with and subjected to FM? (5) How are service providers and education officials responding to potential and confirmed FM cases? (6) How are criminal and civil justice system stakeholders responding to FM cases?
The research team proposes to use respondent-driven sampling to recruit a representative sample of approximately 300 South Asian women and men over the age of 18 who were threatened with or subjected to FM. The team will work with local service providers, educators, and religious organizations to identify a small number of research subjects (n=15) referred to as seeds. These seeds will then recruit additional study participants from their social networks for successive waves of survey interviewing. Interviews with justice system stakeholders, education officials, and service providers will provide additional insight into barriers to identification of and assistance in FM cases.
The research team will produce a technical report as well as a training manual for justice system stakeholders, educational institutions, and service providers. Although the project will focus on the D.C. metropolitan region, it seeks to inform a variety of actors in other jurisdictions who are seeking to address this emerging problem.