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This article was originally published in Texas Public Radio on May 19, 2017. You can access the original article here: bit.ly/2qh4STj.

Tahirih Justice Center Senior Counsel for Policy and Strategy Jeanne Smoot spoke with with Texas Public Radio reporter David Martin Davies about child marriage in Texas and how new legislation would protect Texas’ children from the devastating, lifelong harms of child marriage.

“I think many people before now didn’t realize, David, that child marriages are happening in Texas, and that they’re happening with more frequency and raising many more concerns than people would have expected,” said Smoot.

“Not only did we discover when we pulled statewide data that between the years of 2000 and 2014, nearly 40,000 children under age 18 were married in Texas, but also we discovered that girls as young as 12 had been married over that period.”

Listen to the full interview here.