Child Marriage. A human rights issue in the United States.
Many Americans believe “Child marriage only happens in other countries.” Think again. Child marriage is an open secret and legal in 48 U.S. states. Each year in the United States, children are forced and coerced into marriages. In fact, approximately 248,000 girls were married in the years 2000-2010 in the United States. The consequences of early marriage pervade a victim’s life for years after the marriage begins. Child marriage adversely affects the victim’s health, education and employment opportunities. Additionally, child marriage victims and often become victims of domestic abuse and abandonment. The lost childhood creates a perpetual loop of entrapment for victims as education and financial independence are the tools they need to acquire the resources to free themselves from a forced or coerced marriage. In addition, victims of child marriage do not have the legal rights to divorce or seek social services.
Many state lawmakers are not aware of this issue as laws have not been changed in decades. We ask you to help us in our quest to educate citizens and lawmakers.
Child Marriage Laws Protect Abusers.
The causes of child marriage are nuanced and complex. In many cases, children are wed involuntarily by parental consent. Children do not have the legal protections for their own self-determination. Conversely, child marriage laws protect adult perpetrators and rapists by legitimizing relationships with children period. The female victims are trapped in marriages they can’t escape. These child marriages protect adult sexual predators from being held accountable for their actions in the court of law.
“Instead of putting the handcuffs on him and sending him to prison, they put the handcuffs on me and imprisoned me in a marriage.”
-Sherry Johnson, Child Marriage Activist
We Can End the Abuse of Children by Ending Child Marriage.
Global Hope 365 supports the rights of children to have a safe childhood free from child marriage. Our nonprofit supports the rights of children and preventing marriage until the age of 18 with no exceptions, in any and all circumstances. State laws that allow for marriage when a girl is pregnant, may end up protecting a rapist. Join our fight to protect the freedom, health, and education of children.
The United States sets limits on age for driving, voting in elections, joining the military and consuming alcohol. These limits are set because these actions require responsibility and maturity. In the United States, state law regarding child marriage should reflect the same guidelines. Recent research shows that the human brain does not reach full emotional maturity until approximately age 22. Children under the age of 18 are not able to make life-changing decisions such as consent for marriage. The United States needs to protect children by setting the legal age to marry as 18 no exceptions in all states and set an example on the global stage for human rights in line with US State Department policy regarding child marriage.
Global Hope 365 is active in the community and dedicated to the advancement of women’s and girl’s rights. We are organizing, fundraising, strategizing and advocating, and of course learning more each and every day on how to transform the landscape in Orange County, California, the US and around the world. Your donation is helpful, but your time is invaluable. You are invited to connect with us and join our efforts.