Child marriage is a dangerous abuse of children that can have devastating effects across a lifetime. But in the United States this harmful practice is still legal in 48 out of 50 states and it is estimated that over 9.4 million children have been married off under the age of 16. Most of the children who marry are young girls to grown men.
Massachusetts is sadly no exception. Over 1,200 children as young as 14 were married in the state between 2000 and 2016. Child marriage increases the risks of early pregnancy and physical and emotional abuse, and shuts girls out of education and economic opportunities.
A bill is currently pending to put an end to child marriage in Massachusetts, where there is at present no minimum age limit. In March, survivors of child marriage in the state gave powerful testimony about its impact on their lives during a hearing of the bill, including those whose marriages led to decades of abuse.
An end to child marriage is in sight, but to give this bill the best chance of success we need you to take action and urge legislators in Massachusetts to level the law. Email now and demand an end to child marriage in Massachusetts! Remember: if you’d like to write your own email, please do — it will have a greater impact on legislators.