Most were age 16 or 17 and married with parental consent, but 163 were between ages 13 and 15, meaning a judge approved their marriages.Shockingly, 91 percent of the children were married to adults, often at ages or with age differences that could have triggered statutory-rape charges, not a marriage license.Across the world, child marriage and forced marriage disproportionately affect girls and women.
Marriage is a legal contract and it should be reserved for adults.
The dangers of child marriage are, after all, very clear: A recent report found that child marriage “undermines girls’ health, education and economic opportunities, and increases their risk of experiencing violence.”The solution is relatively simple.
Parents give many reasons for forcing their children into marriage, including controlling the children’s sexuality and behavior and protecting “family honor.” Often families use forced marriage to enhance their status or gain economic security.
The New Jersey data show that 90 percent of the children married were girls, which is consistent with global trends.
IN the United States today, thousands of children under 18 have recently taken marital vows — mostly girls married to adult men, often with approval from local judges. The minimum marriage age in most states is 18, but every state allows exceptions under which children under age 18 can wed.
The first common exception is for children marrying with “parental consent.” Most states allow children age 16 or 17 to marry if their parents sign the marriage license application.
The survey found child marriage or forced marriage, or both, in families of many faiths, including Muslim, Christian (particularly Catholic), Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh.
I have seen child and forced marriage in the Orthodox Jewish community, and I know survivors from Mormon and Unification Church backgrounds.
Unfortunately, the available records do not include any identifying details about marriages beyond the ages of the participants.
Nevertheless, the data show that 3,481 children were married in New Jersey between 19.