The only organization dedicated to ending forced and child marriage in the United States is dismayed to see the movement is not gaining traction in state legislatures.
Unchained at Last founder Fraidy Reiss tells OneNewsNow most people fail to understand the degree of the problem and what girls face in such situations.
"Between 2000 and 2010, an estimated 248,000 children were married here in the United States," Reiss relays. "The youngest was 12 years old. Almost all were girls married to adult men."
And the girls are not allowed to flee if they find themselves in a bad or violent relationship and want to end the marriage.
"They cannot even get into a domestic violence shelter," Reiss explains. "Most domestic violence shelters turn children away because of the liability issues they bring. They cannot easily retain an attorney because contracts with children typically are voidable or sometimes even void. They're not even typically allowed to file for divorce because children typically are not able to bring a legal action in their own name."
In addition, child marriage has an impact on health and financial well-being. Even so, many are trapped in their marriages.
So far, Delaware, New Jersey, and American Samoa have legally ended the practice of child marriage. The proposals have received a ho-hum response from numerous other state legislatures, so Unchained at Last is proposing boots on the ground -- citizens so concerned about the problem that they will educate themselves on the subject and start a rallying cry to convince state lawmakers to move on the issue.