The ABA Journal examined the campaign to end child marriage in the United States in its January 2018 issue. The Tahirih Justice Center’s Senior Counsel for Policy and Strategy, Jeanne Smoot, spoke with the legal publication about the state laws that allow child marriage and why they must be changed.
Reflecting on Tahirih’s work to change Virginia’s marriage age law in 2016, Smoot said: “Virginia was the bottom of the barrel. There was no lower age limit, and some girls had married with startling age differences.”
“Another shocking realization was how at odds these minimal-age marriage laws were with laws aimed to protect children, such as statutory rape,” Smoot told the ABA Journal.