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Child Marriage Policy

We must end child marriage in the United States

Child marriage is a serious problem in the United States, affecting thousands of children each year and compromising their health, safety and well-being. Among other concerns, child marriages are often forced marriages. The Tahirih Justice Center is proud to be partnering with survivors to help lead the campaign to end child marriage across the nation, working to change antiquated state laws that fail to protect children from abuse and coercion.

In 2016, Tahirih drafted and spearheaded the bipartisan passage of a new law that made Virginia the first state in the country to limit marriage to legal adults (age 18 or older, with a limited exception for court-emancipated minors). Now, we are providing our legal expertise and advocacy on bills in a growing number of states. Navigate the resources below to learn more about child marriage and the laws that allow it to persist in present-day America.

If you are facing or fleeing a forced marriage or know someone who is, please visit to get help.

State-by-State Advocacy

Tahirih is currently advocating to end child marriage in states across the country. Our advocacy efforts include: testifying in person and submitting written testimony to state legislatures; raising awareness through media engagement and outreach; providing critical insights from our direct services experience; and serving as an expert resource on legislative approaches.

Read our newly released Framework for Addressing Forced and Child Marriage in the U.S.

In November 2021 Tahirih, in collaboration with members of the National Forced Marriage Working Group, put forward a comprehensive Framework that lays out a path forward for the Federal Government to take a leading role in addressing forced and child marriage in the U.S. and enhancing services for survivors.

See Tahirih in action

Want to learn more about our work on child marriage? View our child marriage publications and latest updates.