Citizens for Justice and Peace

Child marriage persists in the United States

08, Feb 2018 | CJP Team

Most states in the United States the minimum age required for marriage is 18; however, there are potential exceptions this law in every state, according to the Guardian, which interviewed former child brides who turned activists pushing to eliminate child marriage. Between 2000 and 2010, nearly 250,000 were married in the US. According to Fraidy Reiss, director of Unchained at Last, nearly all of these “were girls married to adult men”. Sherry Johnson, who in 1971 was forced to get married at age 11 to the man who raped and impregnated her, told the Guardian that between 2001 and 2015, 16,000 children were married in just the state of Florida. “A 40-year-old man can legally marry a five-year-old girl here,” Johnson said. Florida is currently on the verge of passing a law that raises the minimum age for marriage to 18, with limited exceptions. Its Senate recently unanimously voted to raise the age to 18 with no exceptions. According to Reiss, girls who marry before the age of 18 are considerably more at risk of cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and have an increased risk of psychiatric conditions. She said that they are 50% more likely to leave high school, are at a higher risk of being impoverished, and are three times more likely to suffer domestic violence. 



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