Week 4

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
4:15-5:45 p.m.
Hauser Conference Room (Belfer Building, ground floor, room B-L-4)

Study Group

The Global Movement to
End Violence Against Women


Frontlines Case Study 2:
Forced Marriage in the United States.


Vidya Sri, Fellow, Carr Center & Co-Founder, Gangashakti (a survivor led organization working with forced marriage in the United States).

About the Session: 

Understanding Forced Marriage in the United States. A presentation of "Voices from the Frontline: Addressing Forced Marriage within the United States." A research project based on 524 questionnaires answered by students, domestic violence professionals, refugee service providers, survivors, and scholars. 22 in-depth interviews with frontline responders and 52 case reviews of suspected and confirmed cases of forced marriage within the United States.

Forced Marriage impacts over 56 different immigrant communities in the US. It crosses religious, cultural, and socio-economic lines. No religion advocates forced marriage.

More about the presenter:

Vidya Sri is a Co-Founder of Gangashakti.org an organization that conducts research and raises awareness on Forced Marriage. Gangashakti provides technical assistance on forced marriage, delivers training to service providers and presents talks on this issue. Vidya has engaged with a wide range of agencies, service providers, students and scholars to collect data and analyze the current impact of forced marriage in the United States. At Aarohan 2013, The national conference for South Asian Women's Organizations, she released her ground breaking, "Voices From the Frontline," a detailed paper that draws data from over 500 surveys with service providers, students, and scholars, 52 case studies, and 22 interviews with experts, frontline responders, and survivors in the United States.

Vidya has enjoyed a successful career in commercial banking. She has chosen to commit herself to the issue of forced marriage due to the lack of understanding, data, and engagement on this issue in the United States. Vidya was born in India and came to the United States at the age of 2. She grew up in New York City.