Publications ArchivePublication Tag: Child Marriage
Making Progress, But Still Falling Short: A Report on the Movement to End Child Marriage in America
Making Progress, But Still Falling Short outlines what more needs to be done to end child marriage in America both at the state and federal level. It contains the latest analysis (updated May 13, 2020, but current through August 2020) on all twenty-five states that have recently enacted laws to end or limit child marriage, calling out features that make them strong or weak.
For a high-level summary of the nature of all the marriage-age reforms enacted by states since 2016, please click here.
Child Marriage Poses Serious Risks to Children
Child marriage remains a serious problem in present-day America. Since 2000, well over 200,000 minors were married, most of them girls married to adult men. Children lack the rights and resources of adults and are more vulnerable to coercion and predation. As a result, many child marriages are forced marriages, and/or are cover-ups for other abuse and exploitation.
Marriage before age 18 has devastating, lifelong consequences, including greater vulnerability to sexual and domestic violence, increased medical and mental health problems, higher drop-out rates from high school and college, greater risk of poverty, and up to 80% divorce rates. Read this backgrounder to learn how child marriage, even if by “choice,” denies young people the opportunity to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
State laws that allow child marriage to persist can ratchet up these risks. To learn more, explore our 50-state statutory compilation and legislative analyses, survivor story compilation, and other resources at tahirih.org/childmarriage.
Updated Appendices to “Falling Through the Cracks: How Laws Allow Child Marriage to Happen in Today’s America”
These appendices accompany the Tahirih Justice Center’s 2017 report, “Falling Through the Cracks: How Laws Allow Child Marriage to Happen in Today’s America”. The fundamental analysis in the report remains current, but the first two appendices to this report have been replaced by new “scorecards” on states’ minimum marriage age laws (updated as of July 1, 2019), to reflect changes that many states have made to their minimum marriage age laws through June 2019.
Tahirih Statement on Georgia Child Marriage Law
The Tahirih Justice Center celebrates the passage of a new law in Georgia limiting marriage to adults age 18 or older, with a narrow exception only for 17-year-old minors that have been emancipated after a special proceeding before a juvenile court. The legislation also contains other key measures to prevent abuse and exploitation in the guise of marriage.
Gender-Based Violence One Pager
Gender-based violence affects millions of individuals around the world. We explain this form of violence and its different forms in this one pager.
Tahirih Statement on USCIS Report on Child Marriage
The Tahirih Justice Center is deeply concerned by the data in the new report released by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services titled “How the U.S. Immigration System Encourages Child Marriages”. Tahirih is particularly alarmed by the number of U.S. minors who apparently successfully petitioned for foreign spouses despite a law already in place that should prevent these marriages.
Policy Advocacy to End Child Marriage in the U.S.
The Tahirih Justice Center is proud to help lead the campaign to end child marriage across the nation, working with survivor advocates to change antiquated state laws that fail to protect children from abuse and coercion. This document provides an overview of state legislative reforms made to date, and progress still needed.
*This was last updated on July 1, 2019. For more updated materials, please visit www.tahirih.org/childmarriage.