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This article was originally published in PBS NewsHour on March 14, 2017. You can access the original article here: to.pbs.org/2n5Ahat.

The Tahirih Justice Center’s Senior Counsel for Policy and Strategy, Jeanne Smoot, spoke with PBS NewsHour about the importance of raising the minimum age of marriage in order to protect minors from abuse and exploitation for this story about a bill in New Jersey that would make 18 the minimum age of marriage, no exceptions.

Smoot said parents don’t always have children’s best interests in mind and can coerce or pressure children into marriage. Even when judges are involved, as under some of the proposed legislation, they often don’t have enough training in family matters or child abuse cases to recognize red flags for domestic abuse or forced marriage.

Read the full article here.