Trevicia Williams says she was 14 years old when her mother forced her to marry a 26-year-old man. Earlier this year, she wrote about the experience as part of her testimony to the Texas Senate on the dangers of child marriage. It was 1983, and Texas marriage laws allowed a minor as young as 14 to marry with parental consent. Trevicia tells Teen Vogue that her mother met the man she married — who is now a registered sex offender — through their Pentecostal church. She told the Texas Senate that her mother arranged the marriage while Trevicia was at school, where she excelled. According to her written testimony, her mom picked her up from school one day, but instead of going home, she drove her to the court, where Trevicia was married.
“I vividly recall being a 14-year-old 9th grader with my hands filled with textbooks as I exited the high school I attended,” Trevicia, now 47, wrote in the testimony. “Instead of riding the bus home, as I usually did, my mother was there to pick me up for the marriage that she and the head of the church she attended had arranged.”