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BREAKING UPDATE:

Success — this bill is has now been signed into law and goes into effect July 1, 2016! Thank you for your critical action!


Here’s how you helped our historic child marriage bill cross the finish line:

On Tuesday, the Virginia Senate voted 33-7 to pass the bill to raise Virginia’s minimum marriage age, and on Wednesday, the House Courts of Justice Committee voted 19-3 to send the bill to the floor for a full House vote!

This is a tremendous milestone — and means that we face just one more major hurdle, the full House vote, before our bill to end child marriage in Virginia would be on its way to becoming a law!

Children in Virginia are counting on us. Thousands have been married over the last decade. Some brides were as young as 13 years old! 90% of these children are girls, and 90% of the time they married adults, who were sometimes decades older.

Without your help, this historic bill would never have made it this far! Thank you to everyone who picked up the phone or dashed off an email earlier this week when we asked you to take 5 minutes of your time to reach out to 5 legislators by 5 p.m.

Your advocacy made a critical difference! So… we’re doubling our appeal, in hopes that we can multiply the 19 “YES” votes we have already. We need 51 “YES” votes in the House to pass the bill. It will be debated on the House floor today and voted on Monday afternoon — please help us take the bill across the finish line!

We’re asking you this time to give us 10-for-10-by-10 a.m. on Monday!

10 minutes 10 calls!

Your time is valuable and there are many demands on it, we know! But how often do you get so easy an opportunity to have such a big impact, to change (and potentially save) the lives and futures of girls all across your state? So please, take 10 minutes by 10 a.m. Monday to call or email 10 members of Virginia’s House of Delegates! Urge them to protect children by supporting House Bill 703. You can read the full bill here.

Together, we can make Virginia a leader in the movement to end child marriage, and we can inspire a wave of much-needed and long-overdue reforms in other states, too!

SAMPLE MESSAGE


Hi,

My name is _________. I am concerned that thousands of children have been over married in Virginia over the last decade, many at young ages, to much older adults. I am calling/writing to urge Delegate _________ to SUPPORT House Bill 703. This bill will:

  • prevent children from being forced or coerced into marriage
  • reduce children’s vulnerability to abuse, exploitation, and other serious and lifelong harm
  • protect and empower children by requiring judges to ask critical, safety-centered questions when a 16- or 17-year-old applies for a marriage license, and emancipate those minors if they are approved to marry
  • ban marriages of children under age 16

Current law is failing to protect children in Virginia from harm. Please urge Delegate _________ to vote YES on this bill and end child marriage in VA! Thank you.


FOUR QUICK TIPS

  1. Please call Capitol Phone #’s, not District Phone #’s.
  2. Copy and paste email addresses from the link below, and enter 10 emails at once into the “BCC” field of a single “Dear Delegate” email to save time!
  3. Personalize: If you know first-hand about the risks and harms of child marriage, or how vulnerable children and teens are to abuse, coercion, and exploitation — maybe you are a ssocial worker, a counselor or teacher, etc. — add that to the sample message above!
  4. Focus on delegates who need to hear from us. The following 19 Delegates DO NOT need to hear from us, since they already voted “YES” at the committee-level: Delegates McClellan (the bill’s lead co-patron), Albo, Bell, Campbell, Cline, Collins, Gilbert, Herring, Habeeb, Hope, Krizek, Leftwich, Loupassi, Mason, Miller, Minchew, Miyares, Toscano, and Watts.

CLICK HERE FOR DELEGATE CONTACT INFORMATION

Do Something!

Take 10 minutes to call or email 10 Virginia lawmakers by 10 a.m. Monday ... and change the future for girls all across Virginia.

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