Growing up, I had the same dream many little girls do—of a wedding full of love, pretty flowers, and a mermaid gown. For me, however, reality was anything but a fairy tale: I became a bride at age 13, a child getting a life sentence to serve my sexual abuser.
Last year, I provided testimony to the Legislature of the (U.S.) Virgin Islands in favor of setting the age limit for marriage at 18—with no exceptions. The measure closed existing legal loopholes that allowed children as young as 14 to marry. My testimony and that of other survivors of child marriage helped push the law through the Legislature.
Read more here.
Number of Women and Girls At Risk: 25,000
Status: Existing Legislation Needs Strengthening
Improve by adding: Prosecuting parents/guardian, felony offense