Child marriage isn’t just a practice that victimizes girls in poor countries. As this blog has previously reported, it’s also long been an issue in the United States, involving girls from a wide range of backgrounds. Based on state marriage license data and other sources, advocacy groups and experts estimate that between 2000 and 2015 alone, well over 200,000 children — nearly all of them girls — were married. In nearly all cases the husband was an adult.
A report released Wednesday by the Tahirih Justice Center sheds new light on how state laws are contributing to the problem.
The center, a nonprofit advocacy group that works to end violence against women and girls, did a comprehensive analysis of the myriad statutes governing marriage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Among the findings: