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New York Strategy

Underage Marriage Prevalence in New York

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 4,228 minors aged 15 to 17 in New York are currently trapped in child marriages as of 2018, a startling 5.9 children per thousand. But, because this doesn’t include the thousands of survivors who have escaped child marriage, 4,228 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 New York: 

New York sets 17 as its lowest possible marital age. A minor can be married with the consent of both parents, and although judicial approval is required, the restrictions on underage marriage don’t go far enough and continue to enable abusive child marriages. 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 New York’s Underage Marriage Laws:

Although New York’s underage marriage laws are among the strongest in the nation, the state continues to have a high rate of child marriage and reform is urgently needed. A bill to eliminate child marriage completely from New York was introduced in March, 2020, by Senators Julia Salazar, Alessandra Biaggi, and Luis Sepulveda. 

The bill is now waiting for approval by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Students Against Child Marriage is determined to see it passed. If this measure becomes law, New York will become the fifth state to completely eliminate child marriage. Read more about the progress that we’re making and nationwide reform efforts. 

Take Action Against Child Marriage in New York:

We are currently in conversation with lawmakers to determine what actions you can take to ensure lifesaving child marriage reform is passed in New York. Sign up for our New York Action List to be notified immediately once we have actions available.

In the meantime, get involved with Students Against Child Marriage and spread the word to end American underage marriage now!

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