Is Child Marriage Legal in America

To learn more about child marriage, you can check out CBSN Originals` documentaries „Speaking Frankly: Child Marriage“ and „Nepal | Lost girls. Child marriage occurs across the country, but researchers found a much higher prevalence in West Virginia, North Dakota and Hawaii, where data showed that more than 10 of the 1,000 children surveyed were married. And this is happening in many different communities in the United States. In the United States, the age of marriage is set by each state and territory, either by common law or by individual laws. The minimum age of marriage is set to prevent child marriage. A person in the United States can marry at the age of 18 in all states without parental consent, except for Nebraska, where the age is 19. Reiss said the biggest challenge she faces in her efforts to end child marriage is ignorance. Victims often come from families living in poverty, according to research. And a girl who becomes a child bride in the United States is about 30 percent more likely to live in poverty as an adult. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are also more likely to drop out of high school and graduate from university four times less often. They tend to have more children with shorter periods of time between children, which can prevent them from returning to school or work if they wish. And because of their young age, victims are particularly vulnerable to physical, psychological and sexual abuse. And the problem, Reiss said, is not youth or lack of maturity; it is about legal protection and fundamental rights.

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) – A new study sheds light on an age-old problem that still exists in the United States, child marriage. Not only does this law suggest that the federal government tolerate the practice of child marriage, but it allows an adult to engage in sexual activity with children as young as 12 and incites sexual predators to force a child to marry them. The law can effectively turn child marriage into a „get out of jail without jail“ card for predators. This law must be repealed. The repeal of 18 U.S.C§ 2243(c)(2) is a simple and reasonable step to align U.S. laws with international standards and discourage child marriage and rape in the U.S. Women participate in at Last`s „chained“ protest in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2017. Fraidy Reiss, founder of Unchained At Last and survivor of a forced marriage, is depicted in the middle.

Photo: Susan Landmann / Courtesy of Unchained At Last „Child marriage must go away because children do not have adulthood rights until they reach the age of 18, making it very dangerous for a child to be married because the child simply cannot get out of that marriage,“ Reiss explained. Child marriages are harmful. This is a human rights violation that legitimizes abuses and denies girls` autonomy. When girls are forced to marry, they are mostly exposed to state-sanctioned rape and risk increasing domestic violence, forced pregnancies and negative health consequences while being denied education and economic opportunities. Equality Now and our partners are committed to setting the minimum age of marriage at 18, without exception. Most states have a minimum age of marriage for minors with parental consent, which is between 12 and 17 years old. However, California and Mississippi do not have a minimum age for minors to marry with parental consent. Massachusetts has the lowest minimum age of marriage with parental consent of 14 for boys and 12 for girls. The exact number of child marriages received in the United States is difficult to determine. However, after a comprehensive review of marriage certificates from across the country, Unchained At Last estimates that about 248,000 children were married in the United States between 2000 and 2010. The organization Unchained At Last found that between 2000 and 2018, nearly 300,000 children under the age of 18 were legally married. About one in five children worldwide is married, according to a new report from the United Nations Population Fund — and underage marriage is not just a problem in other countries.

In the United States, more than 200,000 minors were married between 2000 and 2015; Most were girls and more than 80 percent were married to an adult, according to data analyzed by Frontline. Child marriages or marriages 18 years ago were legal in all 50 U.S. states in 2017. Delaware and New Jersey were the first two states to end this human rights violation in 2018, followed by American Samoa in 2018, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Pennsylvania and Minnesota in 2020, and Rhode Island and New York in 2021. In addition to emailing your members of Congress asking them to charge 18 U.S. C to support or support. Section 2243(c)(2) and to educate your congressional colleagues on the issue of child marriage, you can call them to follow up.

„Child marriages are very different from marriages between two consensual adults. It`s something that could be romantic and happy — although we also know it couldn`t be — but it could be romantic, happy, and wonderful,“ Reiss said. But when we talk about child marriage, we are talking about a human rights violation that destroys the lives of girls, and there is nothing romantic or joyful about it. „As soon as you tell people that yes, child marriage is legal here and it happens, they say, `Oh, but it has to happen very rarely. „once or twice,“ Reiss said. „But no. We are talking about a quarter of a million children in a decade. The legal age is 17 in 10 states, while 21 others set the standard at 16. In Maryland, Hawaii and Kansas, it is 15, while North Carolina and Alaska allow them to do so at 14. „It could very well be correlated with poverty, it could also be correlated with parents exchanging their children for money for drugs.

And then, in some cases, parents have very good intentions and they do not realize that they are also being cared for by pedophiles who have terrible intentions for their child. Ryan noted that child marriage is a diverse topic with lifelong consequences. Reiss pointed out that the most affected girls may not be of voting age or unaware of existing laws that could be detrimental to them, and urged people to talk about child marriage and contact their lawmakers and elected officials. North Carolina just passed a bill in the Senate last week to raise the legal age to 16. Child marriage is legal in 46 states, and it is only in recent years that the other four states – Delaware, New Jersey, Minnesota and Pennsylvania – have banned the practice without exception. UNICEF defines a child as anyone under the age of 18. Ironically, although children in the United States can marry, they are not yet eligible to file for divorce or seek protection in cases of domestic violence. „There are lawmakers who say no [to ending child marriage] and their reason is simply the old sexism,“ Reiss said. .

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