We all heard the stories of children getting married somewhere far away from home but we don't realize that children can also get married in the U.S. That's right if you haven't heard it yet, you're going to read about it now.

Child marriage in the U.S

In the United States, it is possible for girls under 18-years-old to get married. Forced child marriages are happening right in front of us. We somehow fail to notice this because we keep on thinking that such things only happen in third world countries and does not fit in our western society. Studies have shown that there are no laws against minors getting married.

They just only need the consent of the parents or judicial consent. Idaho even had the highest rate of Child Marriages. Some of these Young Girls were younger than 16-years-old. Why is this even possible in the U.S.?

There are two answers to this question and an old way of thinking is one of them. So for some legislators, it is a logical answer that when a girl is pregnant that she has to get married.The other reason is that of cultural and religious reasons and the state doesn't want to interfere with the rights of religious freedom. In a lot of cases, culture and religion are the reasons why these girls are forced into marriage.

The damage

The young girls suffer a great deal of psychological and physical trauma due because they are not physically and mentally mature enough to be married and domestic violence and statutory rape are often included.

Their human rights already violated by walking down the aisle, they just can't leave their spouses because they would be classified as runaways to any women's shelter. They can't just get a divorce because children can't get legal representation in their name and child protective services can't help either because the marriage is legal.

This makes Child Marriage an incredibly toxic situation. Is anyone going to stop this from happening?

We are lucky that in some states lawmakers are trying to make child marriage illegal. We have to prevent child marriages from happening everywhere in this world but also in our own home. There should be an age minimum on marriage.

We, fortunately, have Unchained at Last, a non-profit organization that helps escape girls and young women from forced and arranged marriages who are working on ending child marriage in the United States. I hope that more states will pass on the bill to prevent child marriages no matter the circumstances.