Child Marriage Survivor: I Was Introduced to Him in the Morning and Handed Over That Night – Motto

Sara Tasneem was 15 years old when she was married off to a 28-year old stranger. Her parents were divorced, and her deeply conservative father was a member of a Muslim sect in California. When she went to visit him during high school, “He told me I was going to have to get married and the Sheikh was going to pick who I was going to get married to,” she recalls. “I never questioned my dad, ever.”

Thousands of U.S. teens are married before they turn 18 every year. Sometimes the practice coincides with religious traditions, as conservative Jews, Christians and Muslims often encourage early marriage. But even nonreligious adolescents marry before they’re legal adults, sometimes because of a teen pregnancy.

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