We may think we have it hard in the US dating scene but sisters, it could be way, way worse. Every year between 300,000 and 400,000 women are shipped to the United States as part of the sex trafficking trade. Some of these women are mail-order brides. According to Family Law Prof Blog "consumer husbands"—the industry term for men who spend thousands ordering wives through marriage brokers—are often abusive husbands to wives who have litle recourse. Shudder.
Lawmakers are stepping up to better protect these women. In 2005, Congress tried to fix the problem with the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, which gave brides-to-be legal information and background on their intendeds. In Trenton, New Jersey assemblyman Upendra Chivukula has proposed requiring the owners of international matchmaking companies submit to criminal background checks.
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These provisions are crucial to keeping foreign wives even nominally informed of their rights. Once in the U.S., with no financial resources and often without speaking English, women are vulnerable and live under the constant threat of deportation. The Top 10 Relationship Books Of The 00s
It's great that lawmakers are stepping up to the plate to make these shady businessmen accountable for the women they broker. It's also a reminder of how lucky we are. We can communicate freely with our partners, so let's take advantage of that freedom!