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This article was originally published in Texas Public Radio on June 14, 2017. You can access the original article here:

Jeanne Smoot, Senior Council for Policy and Strategy at the Tahirih Justice Center, was a guest on Texas Public Radio’s The Source as the Texas bill to ban child marriage awaited signature by Governor Greg Abbott. Smoot spoke extensively on the scope of the problem of child marriage in Texas and the importance of enacting reforms.

“There is a really startling diversity in terms of the type of families and kinds of circumstances in which underage marriage arises and can be forced on a person who doesn’t want it and isn’t ready for it.”

But, I think there is also a really consistent commonality, no matter the personal or family background of that individual, which is the common vulnerability of a minor, how legally and practically disabled they are to protect or advocate for themselves,” said Smoot.

Listen to the full broadcast here.