Her email username is “forgivingtheunforgivable.”
And Sherrie Von Johnson, who describes herself as “an advocate as well as a survivor of sex abuse and child marriage,” has had a lot to forgive.
Raped by a 20-year-old church member, Johnson gave birth to a child when she was only 10, and was forced to marry her rapist at age 11.
“At a time when she should have been going to school and playing with her friends, she was living with her abuser, and, over the course of their marriage, she gave birth to nine children,” Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Ft. Myers, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 24, in introducing SB 140, that would ban marriage to anyone younger than 18.
Number of Women and Girls At Risk: 25,000
Status: Existing Legislation Needs Strengthening
Improve by adding: Prosecuting parents/guardian, felony offense