Unchained At Last

2013 logo-white-and-red-on-black-web-res - Fraidy ReissBased In: Westfield, NJ
Venture: Unchained At Last is the only nonprofit dedicated to helping women and girls escape forced marriages in the US, and the only organization dedicated to ending forced and child marriage in America.
Innovator: Fraidy Reiss was 19 when her family arranged for her to marry a man who turned out to be violent. But with no education or job, in an insular religious community where only men have the right to grant a divorce, she was trapped for 15 years, finally escaping only after she defied her husband and community and enrolled in college. She graduated from Rutgers University at age 32 as valedictorian (called “commencement speaker” at Rutgers). Her family declared her dead, but Fraidy persevered. With her journalism degree, she was hired as a reporter for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, eventually getting promoted to the paper’s elite investigative-reporting team. She went on to a career as an investigator at Kroll, the world’s largest investigations firm. At the same time, Fraidy managed to get divorced, win full custody of her two daughters and get a final restraining order against her ex-husband. But Fraidy knows that most women and girls who want to flee or resist an arranged/forced marriage are limited by finances, religious law and social customs. For them, Fraidy founded and now leads Unchained At Last.
Primary Area of Focus: Social Change and Equality
Primary Populations Served: Children and Young Families, Teens, Emerging and Young Adults, Adults

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