Child Marriage in the United States?
March 21, 2017
The idea of children getting married is foreign to Americans because it’s often perceived as a non issue in the United States. Did you know that the state of New Jersey could be the first state to end marriages of children under the age of 18? Not so foreign anymore.
Faithwire.com wrote an article highlighting the issue of child marriage in the United States. Often times it is an issue related to countries like Thailand, India and Niger. The article points out to a series of new public reports released in February of this year bringing back to life an old call to action related to helping the girls and women who have fallen victim to child marriage in the United States. A place where many don’t even know the horrific act actually exists at “alarming” rates.
According to the article sources estimate that roughly a quarter million children are forced to marry without their consent. And individual reports state that forced marriage has long been a problem in the United States due to government loopholes that allow parents to marry off their children at any age, according to Good magazine.
An investigation done and presented by the Tahirih Justice Center cited that both Virginia and New York have children in the thousands being married off.
In the state of Virginia, almost 5,000 kids aged 13 and up were married between 2004 and 2014. And in New York almost 4,000 children were married between 2000 and 2010. The non-profit Unchained At Last has been following forced marriages among children and have reported that kids as young as 12 years of age are getting married to partners significantly older.The organization has also spent time trying to stop child marriage in America and profiling stories of women and girls who have survived and/or escaped it. Fraidy Reiss of the nonprofit organization is quoted saying the following:
“We’ve had clients from Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds who are married as children. And they have come from every socioeconomic level, from both multigenerational American families as well as immigrant families.” Who like Majebin all need help and a way to escape.
A quick visit to the news release section of the organization’s website reveals that the state of New Jersey may be the first state to outlaw this type of practice in the country. The release dated March 17th, 2017 states in part,
“Last night our hard work paid off: The New Jersey senate voted 26-5 to pass the bill we helped to write – and spent a year and a half tirelessly promoting – to end child marriage. The assembly already passed the bill, which means that if the governor doesn’t kill it, New Jersey will become the first U.S. state to end all marriage before 18.”
“And it won’t be the last. We’re already working in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri and New York to pass legislation to end or limit child marriage, and Pennsylvania is about to join that list.”
“And on Friday, Texas introduced a bill to end most marriage before 18, thanks to the advocacy of our ally, the Tahirih Justice Center.”
“Right now marriage before 18 is legal in all 50 U.S. states.”
Faithwire.com article / TRUNEWS contribution.
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