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Child Marriage in the USA

(39 Posts)
jamrock Fri 26-May-17 20:26:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GuardianLions Fri 26-May-17 20:44:34

I am gobsmacked.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 26-May-17 20:51:39

Bloody hell. It's not "child marriage" it's state sanctioned child abuse. How else can you describe an 11 yr old being forced to marry a 20 year old man? Utterly bizarre that the US should allow this.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 27-May-17 10:05:15

That 11 year old was forced to marry the 20 year old who raped her, by her Christian fundamentalist parents. How is that not a case for child protection?

NotCitrus Sat 27-May-17 10:29:51

They truly believe that the child needs to be protected from 'sinful' sex, rather than sex or exploitation. Therefore as long as she's married, she's not sinning and, they reason, neither is the husband. Also the idea of teenagers = children hasn't caught on there or in many countries especially rural areas - you're old enough to bleed and do adult work, you're an adult in people's minds no matter what the law says.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 27-May-17 10:30:30

There was a thread about this a while back. The Obama administration did not cover itself in glory. I did a bit of googling and found lots of pontificating about how awful this is in other countries and nothing said or done about their own back yard.

Xenophile Sat 27-May-17 10:35:42

Child marriage, FGM, martial rape and sanctioned spousal abuse are all features of some fundamental "Christian" churches in the USA. It's not Christian, but it's used as a gloss for these kinds of behaviours.

BarbarianMum Sat 27-May-17 11:16:28

I opened the article thinking it would be about those obscure Mormon sects where men marry dozens of wives. Had no idea it was so widespread and so legal. How can this be? shock

BigDeskBob Sat 27-May-17 12:44:25

It's truly shocking. Half of the states have no minimum age and we are talking about thousands of children.

Is the reason it's ignored because it is driven by religion? People's faith and belief cannot be questioned?

Xenophile Sat 27-May-17 12:52:18

No, I don't think so Bob. I seem to remember that a lot of bile aimed at Muslims is because they allow all these things. I think it might be because these are white Christians doing it and nothing done by that group is ever bad... hmm

coldcanary Sat 27-May-17 12:53:12

How hypocritical that they would condemn child marriage in other countries and actively block legislation to stop the same abuse happening in their own country.
I assumed it would be some fundamentalist Mormon sect the article would be talking about as well, not something so widespread.

coldcanary Sat 27-May-17 13:26:03

Looking at it some more it seems that these children are failed at every turn - women's shelters don't usually accept minors so they're turned away, children's refuges will inform the parents and minors can't get legal help in their own name even if they can afford it so presumably the US equivalent of restraining orders aren't an option.
These kids are being told to smile by judges because it's supposed to be a happy day angry

YouMayVeryWellThinkThat Sat 27-May-17 13:28:09

Are the states that allow child marriage the same ones that have little/no abortion rights?

CountryCaterpillar Sat 27-May-17 13:32:25

Gosh I had no idea. I assumed some misrepresentation.

That horrific.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 27-May-17 13:46:41

Bloody hell. angrysad the other implication of this is that rape within marriage isn't illegal in the US, is that correct?

Is the reason it's ignored because it is driven by religion? People's faith and belief cannot be questioned?

Yes, but in the US specifically (versions of) the Christian religion. And of course the other reason it's tolerated (or even encouraged) is that the victims are overwhelmingly girls.

aginghippy Sat 27-May-17 14:17:53

The laws about rape within marriage are one of those things that differ from one state to the other in the US. It is illegal in all states, but some states have a separate offence of marital rape that is different from 'ordinary' rape.

Though why anyone would think sex between a grown man and a pubescent girl was anything other than coercive, I can't understand.

Xenophile Sat 27-May-17 14:23:25

YouMay, no, it's pretty universal across all states.

Errol, spousal rape has been technically been made illegal in all states, but is viewed as very different than raperape in a lot of them and has to involve violence for it to be seen as a crime.

ISaySteadyOn Sat 27-May-17 14:47:34

I had no idea of this. I am very disturbed by it. Are there any figures about this in the UK?

CountryCaterpillar Sat 27-May-17 14:52:40

It's not legal in the UK, whereas it is in the USA!!

ISaySteadyOn Sat 27-May-17 15:02:38

Good. I didn't think it was, but I wasn't sure. Am from US originally.

YouMayVeryWellThinkThat Sat 27-May-17 15:16:10

ISaySteadyOn - in parts of the UK marriage is legal for those aged 16 and 17 with parental consent. I did read a year or two ago about there being an issue where some parents force their children to marry at that age, so there is a problem with forced child marriage in the UK in that sense. I am not sure how big an issue it is in terms of numbers though - don't have time to Google right now but you might be able to find something online.

insancerre Sat 27-May-17 15:19:31

You can get married at 16 in the uk but need parental permission if under 18 except in Scotland,

Boomcack Sat 27-May-17 15:20:52

The states have a massive problem with child trafficking and child sexual abuse, which goes quite far up. I guess protecting white sexual offenders is more important than safeguarding children hmm. None of this actually surprised me

ErrolTheDragon Sat 27-May-17 15:21:27

Well, 'minors' of 16 and 17 can be married, with parental consent in England and Wales, without in Scotland.

CountryCaterpillar Sat 27-May-17 15:22:00

16 in England (with permission)ties in with 16 being age of consent here.

Been googling and looks like age of consent is similar in America yet marriage some states set no lower age?!?

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