This exploratory research was guided by six primary research questions:
- What is the nature and prevalence of forced marriage and the intersection of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual violence, and other forms of victimization?
- What are the factors that put young women at risk of forced marriage?
- What is the role of social, cultural, and religious norms surrounding forced marriage?
- What are the help-seeking behaviors of young women and men who have been threatened with and/or subjected to forced marriage?
- How are service providers and education officials responding to potential and confirmed forced marriage cases?
- How are justice system (civil and criminal) stakeholders responding to potential and confirmed forced marriage cases?
The researchers created a short survey to broaden their understanding of the nature and scope of forced marriage. The goal of this effort was to supplement the limited information they learned about forced marriage in the D.C. metropolitan region (from qualitative interviews) with a basic understanding of the nature and scope of forced marriage more broadly. The survey was administered anonymously via Google Consumer Survey to a sample of men and women (18 years and older) of all backgrounds across the United States.
Although there were no financial incentives in exchange for the survey, Google Consumer Survey requests survey completion in exchange for online activity behind a pay wall. Participants would see the survey on their screen online (before reading a news article, for instance). Upon opening the survey, participants were informed of the nature of the study, including that the study was an Urban Institute survey funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) about marriage and choice, and asked if they would like to participate. If an individual consented, they would be taken to the second screening question, which determined whether they had ever experienced forced marriage or been threatened with forced marriage. The term "forced marriage" was not used, but was described as a marriage or engagement that you did not choose whether, when, or whom you married; or you could not say 'no' without bad things happening. If they answered in the affirmative, participants were presented the rest of the questions on the Google survey.
The researchers used Google Consumer Survey to field the survey on forced marriage in order to reach a national pool of respondents. The survey was fielded through five different platforms where participants were incentivized to complete the survey in exchange for online activity behind a pay wall, such as accessing a news article or using a mobile application. Among the 21,034 individuals sampled and contacted by Google to participate in the survey, 7,979 (37.9 percent) volunteered to participate, among which 7,952 (99.7 percent) were considered valid responses.
Men and women (18 years and older) of all backgrounds across the United States.
This collection contains 1 Stata file: ICPSR-Data-File.dta (21007 cases; 48 variables).
The survey included questions on whether individuals had a choice in their marriage experience, the reasons behind the forced marriage, whether they experienced emotional or physical violence before, during, or after their experience, what services they used (including justice system responses), and basic demographic questions. In addition to data drawn from questions in the survey instrument, the researchers used metadata inferred through Google Analytics, which were distributed across seven data dimensions, including: age, gender, urban density, income, parental status, geography, and publisher category.