A new survey of immigrant and women’s service providers claim that 3,000 women were forced into marriage in the past two years, including 300 in New York state.
Often times these marriages involve underage girls who were forced into marriage by their parents.
The New York Daily News reports:
Some city teens fly to their parents’ homeland for what they think is a vacation and wind up stuck in a marriage against their will. Others face beatings or worse if they refuse a wedding here – sometimes by parents who stand to gain financially by the union.
One of Pyati’s clients, a girl from a West African family, was 15 when she became a bride by proxy. Her father arranged the marriage while visiting his homeland, while she was back in their New York apartment. When the time came to get on a plane, she said no.
“She refused and refused and suffered physical violence in the home,” Pyati said.
Finally, she agreed to move to Georgia and become the wife of a West African man there, Pyati said. After being beaten, she fled. She was 17 and pregnant.