ArticlesVolume 16, Number 2 (2007)

Love, Honor, or Control: Domestic Violence, Trafficking, and the Question of How to Regulate the Mail-Order Bride Industry


In recent years, with the development and widespread use of the Internet, the international marriage brokerage (IMB) industry has grown exponentially. In 1997, the Global Survival Network reported that more than 200 IMB companies annually paired between 2,000 and 5,000 American men with foreign “mail-order brides,” and in 1998, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) reported that IMBs made between 4,000 and 6,000 such matches. By 2004, those numbers had nearly doubled-recent studies estimate that more than 500 IMB companies annually match between 9,500 and 14,000 foreign women with American men.5 Should this rapid growth in the “mail-order bride industry” cause concern?