200 Thousands of Teenagers Married in the USA Over the Last 15 Years
Source: New York Times
When Sherri Johnson was 11 years old, she was raped and became pregnant. The parents and representatives of the church, whose parishioner was the culprit, decided to marry the girl off to a 20-year-old rapist, - says New York Times... Sherri was forced to become a wife without asking her consent. The girl is not alone - from 2000 to 2015, 200 minor Americans got married. Many of them are young girls who have become the wives of men for years or even decades older.
Sherry is not alone. The new report, presented by the Tahiri Justice Center, a national non-profit organization that protects women and immigrant girls from violence, talks about alarming statistics around the country. Only in eight US states, the minimum age of the bride is 16 years. In 33 states, an adult can marry a child of 15 years or younger, since age norms are not regulated by law. Only in New York, Virginia and Texas are there laws prohibiting marriages up to 18 years. In 9 states, exceptions are only given to pregnant women, but in these cases, however terrifying it may sound, rape can become the legal basis of marriage.
Young girls don't just fall into the traps of dangerous marriages. By law, they cannot demand a divorce. According to US statistics, about 80% of teenage marriages break up in one way or another. Young children are 2 times more likely to end up in a beggar's shelter and 4 times less likely to go to college. And such children go through psychological and physical trauma all their lives. According to activists, it is important for every US citizen not to dismiss the alarming statistics and prevent your own child or the children of loved ones and acquaintances from getting into it, even if the parents of the “young” do not understand the full responsibility of such a step.