End Child Marriage in the State of California
Many Americans believe “Child marriage only happens in other countries.” Not so!! Child marriage is legal and practiced in 48 of the 50 U.S. states including California. Each year in the United States, children are forced and coerced into marriages. An estimated 248,000 children as young as 12 were married between 2000 and 2010 in the US.
California state laws do not protect minors who are coerced into Child Marriage. Currently, there is no “age floor” in the state of California and no restrictions on the age difference between adult men and minor girls that can legally marry. The only way to protect girls from abusive relationships with older men is to pass an “18 No Exceptions” law.
The American Medical Association has called for an end to Child Marriage stating “Child marriage is associated with higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, early pregnancies, divorce, and intimate partner violence when compared to women married at age 21 or older.” Child marriage adversely affects the victim’s health, education, and employment opportunities.
Child Marriage is defined as a human rights abuse by the Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, and UNICEF. We must protect our own children in the state of California.
Current law provisions in the state of California require parental consent for Child Marriage which are exactly the provisions that allow this abuse to persist. To end the statutory rape of minors, we must end Child Marriage. We ask you to support our campaign by completing this form to advocate for “No Child Marriage under 18, No Exceptions.”