Tasneem was forced into marriage at the age of 15 and is now educating and supporting other victims. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

My name is Sara Tasneem, I advocate publicly to end the practice of forced child marriage in the United States. I also work as a volunteer mentor with young women who need support before, during, or after experiencing forced child marriage.

At fifteen, my father forced me to marry a man who was a complete stranger and almost twice my age. It took me seven years to leave this abusive marriage behind. I am fighting to change laws that allow child marriage in the United States along with other survivors who know all too well about the human rights abuse that is FORCED CHILD MARRIAGE.

For media inquiries please email me at tasneemsf333@gmail.com

Please sign our petition to end child marriage in California today: http://chng.it/CmVRqZTX

WHY IS ADVOCACY IMPORTANT TO END CHILD MARRIAGE?

Sharing stories of survival helps raise awareness. I hope that through telling my story I will connect with and empower others, raise awareness, and create positive change.

Why does forced child marriage happen in the United States?

  • Because marriage under 18 years old is legally allowed in 44 states.
  • Because it usually happens to kids who are already suffering from other forms of abuse.
  • Because the parents / guardians are the ones who are forcing the marriage, not preventing it
  • Because children are more vulnerable to coercion and abuse
  • Because of cultural stigmas around teen pregnancy and sexual reproductive rights
  • Because of age old patriarchal laws that have not been changed
  • Because an adult wants to escape prosecution of statutory rape / abuse
  • Because of a parent/caretaker who wants to control their child’s sexuality, sexual orientation or sexual identity

ABOUT THRIVING AFTER SURVIVING

My mission is to create a network for survivors, other advocates, and non-profit organizations who can connect victims with services.

  • Raise public awareness about forced child marriage in the U.S.
  • Develop partnerships that support survivors, advocates, and non-profit groups
  • Create change through, planning, legislation, action, and support.

Curious about my media advocacy? Visit the Survivors Latest News Stories Page

Curious about my story? Visit my Daily Californian Op-Ed published on 5/30/17: https://www.dailycal.org/2017/05/30/child-marriage-laws-ca-act-loopholes-allow-statutory-rape/

I was fifteen years old in this photo, it was taken at my mom’s house in Colorado shortly before I was sent to visit my dad in California where I would be forced to marry a complete stranger.

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