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This article was originally published in Associated Press on October 24, 2017. You can access the original article here:

This Associated Press (AP) story tells the story of courageous child marriage survivor advocate Sherry Johnson, who was married at age 11 in Florida and is now working to change Florida’s minimum marriage age laws. A bill is currently under consideration the Florida legislature to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 without exceptions.

Jeanne Smoot, the Tahirih Justice Center’s Senior Counsel for Policy and Strategy, spoke with AP about child marriage in Florida and across the United States.

“It’s a problem across the country. More than 200,000 children under the age of 18 are estimated to be married from 2000 to 2015 alone. This is a real and serious problem in the United States,” Smoot said. “It’s a problem all states need to address, but Florida stands to be a leader at the moment.”

Read the full article here.