Underage Marriage Prevalence in Illinois:
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 3,251 minors aged 15 to 17 in Illinois are currently trapped in child marriages as of 2018, a startling 6 children per thousand. But, because this doesn’t include the thousands of survivors who have escaped child marriage, 3,251 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 Illinois:
Illinois sets 16 as its lowest possible marital age. If both parents consent, a child can be married without judicial approval. Only in situations where a minor has no parents will the court finally get involved. Regardless, there is no mechanism to determine if the child actually consents to the marriage. 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 Illinois’ Underage Marriage Laws:
Despite its high rate of child marriage, Illinois hasn’t introduced any legislation to reform their problematic and enablist laws in the last 5 years. Students Against Child Marriage is dedicated to introducing and passing legislation in Illinois 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 Illinois:
We are currently in conversation with lawmakers to determine what actions you can take to ensure lifesaving child marriage reform is passed in Illinois. Sign up for our Illinois Action List to be notified immediately once we have actions available.