Women and girls around the world and in the United States continue to experience abuse at significantly higher rates than men. Child marriage, a form of abuse that was once widely accepted is getting much-needed attention to put an end to the practice.
Sadly, child marriage is still widely practiced in the United States. Girls as young as 11-years old are and have been allowed to legally be married often, to adult men, with their parent’s permission.
In the United States alone, more than 200,000 minors were married between 2000 and 2015; most were girls, more than 80% were married to an adult male. -FRONTLINE
To date, only four states have completely banned underage marriages. Some states have minimum age requirements, but built-in loopholes that include parental consent can circumvent the requirement. The Tahirih Justice Center a national, non-profit organization that aims to end violence against women and girls shared, “18 states, still have no age “floor,” meaning that as long as exceptions ate met, a child of any age can be married.”
Reports have highlighted that some parents, who want to avoid the stigma of their daughters becoming pregnant out of wedlock, are more inclined to give parental consent for their underage daughters to get married.
Sadly, child brides often get stuck in a continuous cycle of abuse. Typically, they “cannot get divorced because they are underage, many women shelters will not take anyone underage and landlords will not rent to minors.” -SherryJohnson
Usually when we see women who have escaped this series of abuse their trauma has been compounded.
This is happening and it is probably legal in your state. Young girls and women are hurting. Get active. Get involved. Protect women and girls.