Reiss was 19 and had never been alone with a male she wasn't related to, so when an early date devolved into a fistfight between her intended and a guy he thought was looking at her, she took it in stride. "I thought it was great that he wanted to protect me." They married shortly thereafter.A week later, he put his fist through a wall, a trend that continued throughout their 11-year union.Today's allowed dating period is much shorter, and the engagement period has gone from six months or longer to six weeks." Although both of Klein's sons are happily married to women they were set up with, she knows this is as much luck as design.

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Others give in, rather than break up their families.

Problems arise when someone is intellectually curious, has questions or is highly individualistic.

Nonetheless, she reports that the United Nations has declared forced marriage to be a violation of human rights.

In addition, lawmakers in the United Kingdom have taken steps to stop the practice, passing the Forced Marriage Act of 2007 to enable victims to apply for a Court Order of Protection; a police unit has also been established to focus exclusively on this population. " To shed light on the issue, Heiman says that Tahirih launched an investigation - the findings were released in 2012 - that queried providers of legal services, educators, community organizations, and social service and health care agencies about their clients.

When Fraidy Reiss thinks back to her childhood in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, she recalls dreaming of only one thing: marrying young and having as many children as possible.

As she came of age in the mid-1990s, her excitement built, and at a set-up arranged by her mother and another family member, she was introduced to a man they'd selected as a suitable mate.

If they question community values, have issues around their sexual identity, or have been abused or know someone who has been abused, they may need to speak out or leave." Fariba [a pseudonym] has no intention of speaking out.

The oldest of five US-born children, she says that in a year or two, when she is 21 or 22, her parents will find a mate for her.

In their first year, Unchained has provided free legal and social-service assistance - as well as mentoring and peer counseling - to more than 40 women from Orthodox, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities. Heiman, project manager of the Forced Marriage Initiative of the Tahirih Justice Center, a Virginia-based advocacy group, admits that no one really knows how pervasive forced marriages are in the United States.

What's more, the line between forced and arranged is often fuzzy and straddles a host of related issues including child marriage, domestic abuse, human trafficking, and cultural and religious autonomy.

In Pakistani culture, we say that love comes after marriage and that religion, faith in God, is the most important bond. Of course I will see the guy beforehand and can say 'no' if I don't like him, but if my family has chosen him, I have to trust that it will be okay. Part of the problem, she says, rests with changed community norms.