Coerced or Forced Marriage
New York's Law
Are you under 18 and resisting pressure from your family, community or others to get married? Are you worried that you or a friend may be coerced or forced into marriage?
According to New York State law, as of July 20, 2017, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 17 to get married in the state. Seventeen-year-olds require parental consent and judicial review, and they are entitled to a court-appointed attorney who has received training on forced marriage.
Learn about New York State’s law protecting minors here.
New York now has the strongest law in the nation to protect women, girls and boys from being coerced or forced into marriage. The following resources help women and girls or boys from all communities, cultures, and religions who are facing or are trapped in a coerced marriage. Sometimes, young people 18 or older are also pressured to marry. If you need help, please reach out regardless of your age.
How to Get Help
Unchained At Last – 908.481.HOPE
Unchained At Last assists women and girls from all over the country who are facing forced marriage. Unchained provides free legal representation to obtain a contested divorce, a restraining order, and immigration services to secure legal status. Additionally, Unchained supplies vital services to promote financial and emotional independence, including: career counseling, financial coaching, help locating shelters, therapy services, transportation and accompaniment to court appearances, as well as international rescue missions for victims taken overseas. Unchained also offers a unique mentoring program that matches women from similar backgrounds who provide emotional support for victims of coerced marriage.
212.349.6009 x221 – counseling and shelter services
212.349.6009 x246 – legal services; please leave a voicemail message
Sanctuary for Families is dedicated to serving victims of sexual violence – including forced marriage for women and girls. Sanctuary’s services include counseling for women and children, legal representation, shelter, and career readiness. Sanctuary is New York City based and provides services in nine locations throughout the city, including their Manhattan Office as well as the Brooklyn, Queens, and Bronx Family Justice Centers.
Tahirih Justice Center – 571-282-6161
The Forced Marriage Initiative at Tahirih Justice Center is available to offer you support, serving the Washington DC, Baltimore MD, Houston TX, and San Francisco CA areas
Tahirih will discuss your rights and your options, guide you through steps you can take to keep safe, and help you to find resources in your area, including emergency shelter, legal services, counseling, and other forms of assistance.
National Organization for Women – New York – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to get involved in our work to end child marriage and/or to participate in survivor-advocacy, please reach out to join our efforts.
Learn about NOW’s work to end child marriage:
We Just Banned Child Marriage in New York- See official press release here.
See NOW’s call to action to end child marriage in New York here.
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