Underage Marriage Prevalence in California:
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 10,365 minors aged 15 to 17 in California are currently trapped in child marriages as of 2018, a startling rate of nearly 7 children per thousand. But, because California allows minors of any age to be married, 10,365 is actually a significant underestimate of this widespread abuse. Read about America’s shameful child marriage statistics to learn more about this nationwide crisis.
The Statutes Which Enable Child Marriage in California:
California does not set a lowest possible marital age. As a result, children of any age can be, and are, frequently forced into marriages. A minor can be married with the consent of just one parent or guardian, and although judicial approval is required, the restrictions on underage marriage don’t go far enough. This practice destroys the lives of countless young girls across the United States. Check out our State Statute Database to see the laws in your state.
We’re Making Progress to Reform California’s Underage Marriage Laws:
Although a bill to completely eliminate underage marriage in California was introduced by State Senator Jerry Hill in 2017, amendments were made to only increase judicial oversight instead of establishing an age floor. California has the 7th highest rate of child marriage in the country, and Students Against Child Marriage is dedicated to introducing and passing legislation in California to finally outlaw this life-destroying practice. Read more about the progress that we’re making and nationwide reform efforts.
Take Action Against Child Marriage in California:
We are currently in conversation with lawmakers to determine what actions you can take to ensure lifesaving child marriage reform is passed in California. Sign up for our California Action List to be notified immediately once we have actions available.