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Badass Women at Any Age

Jan 12, 2021

At the age of 13, Dawn Tyree was forced to marry her abuser.  Despite this harrowing experience,  she found the courage to leave the marriage at 16 and became her own hero.  Dawn is an author, activist, and a founding member of The National Coalition to End Child Marriage in the U.S.  She is currently working with Global Hope 365 to help end child marriage in Califonia. Her testimony and that of other survivors played a crucial role in ending child marriage in 4 U.S. States. The story of her experience as a child forced into marriage has been published in The New York Times, Reuters, The Sun, DailyMail, The News-Review, WRAL, Freedom United, Portland Metrozine, YES! Magazine, and printed into 12 different languages. Dawn works with multiple organizations and universities across the nation to help educate and offer support in comparative studies (the US and international) on child marriage and human rights abuse issues. Dawn was featured in a two-hour documentary on child marriage in the U.S. as part of the A & E Network docu-series with Elizabeth Vargas, “I Was a Child Bride: The Untold Story” that aired in April 2019. She continues her activism work in tandem with writing her harrowing story of overcoming the toughest of odds. Tyree is enjoying life in the Pacific Northwest Coastal Range. .


What You Will Hear in This Episode: 

  • Dawn’s story of how, at the age of 13,  she was forced to marry her abuser who was her care provider. 
  • The decision and courage it took for her to escape after having 2 children.
  • The legal issues Dawn had to overcome when fighting for custody of her children.
  • Dawn’s journey and mission to end child marriage.
  • The shame and trauma child brides carry and the fear of going public.
  • Global and national organizations fighting against child marriage
  • How Dawn overcame her past and found strength and empowerment.
  • Statistics involving child marriage and states that have made 18 no exception laws.



  • “Child marriage is nothing less than human sex trafficking in plain sight.”
  • “When you are under 18 years old you can’t enter a legal binding contract.”
  • “I didn’t hire a lawyer and I couldn’t find anyone to help me. I spent a lot of time in a law library fighting for myself and my children.”
  • “US Department of State calls child marriage a human rights abuse issue, yet we are still allowing it.”
  • “The USCIS approved almost 9000 petitions for foreign spouses between 2000-2017.  All of those involved minors.”



If you or someone you know is suffering from human trafficking text “befree” to 2337233

Unchained At Last

Global Hope 365

The National Coalition to end child marriage

Tahirih Justice Center

Facebook: @dawntyree

IG: @dawnbtyree

Not Done Yet

Politics of Promotion

The Midlife Rethink 3 part online workshop registration