Each year, 12,000 girls in Kyrgyzstan are kidnapped and forced into marriage. Once kidnapped, a girl is no longer considered “pure” and becomes unmarriageable, making it shameful to return home. Even after days of struggle, kidnapping victims have no choice but to stay with their kidnappers. These marriages are not officially registered, so if the marriage ends, the wife has little chance of keeping any property or custody of the children. Fear of kidnapping keeps some girls from attending school, and scares parents into agreeing to early marriage to avoid kidnapping. This project will empower girls in two villages in Kyrgyzstan (500 girls) to protect themselves from “bride kidnapping” –a tradition of kidnapping girls and forcing them into marriage. Entire villages -- girls and boys, parents, and teachers -- will learn to use the law to understand their rights and make sure kidnappers are prosecuted. Girls will be able to attend school without the fear of abduction, or child marriage to avoid kidnapping.