The Campaign to End Child Marriage Has Made Progress, But There Are Still Lives At Stake

Ending child marriage isn’t easy. But because of your help, advocates for life-saving policy change have steadily made legislative progress over the past decade. Just three years ago, there wasn’t a single state that had outlawed underage marriage. Now, 17 states have passed reforms limiting the legal exceptions for youth marriage, with four states criminalizing the practice entirely. And our momentum isn’t ending anytime soon: eleven states across America currently have crucial pending legislation, and Students Against Child Marriage is actively working to ensure those legislative efforts are successful.

The map below displays the most recent marriage reform efforts in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., including those who have completely eliminated child marriage and states where reform attempts have failed.

Underage Marriage Reform is a Mixed Bag: Successes Stymied By Low Awareness

Though some states have actively made strides towards eliminating and reforming child marriage within their borders, others have failed young girls by not making any substantial progress in years. Underage marriage is a complex issue with simple legislative solutions. See the reforms for yourself on our State Progress Database, and read the major takeaways now: 

 22 States Have Limited or Entirely Eradicated Child Marriage in the Last Five Years.

Though some states have actively made strides towards eliminating and reforming child marriage within their borders, others have failed young girls by not making any substantial progress in years. Underage marriage is a complex issue with simple legislative solutions. See the reforms for yourself on our State Progress Database, and read the major takeaways now:

22 States Have Limited or Entirely Eradicated Child Marriage in the Last Five Years.

16 states

have protected thousands of children by raising their minimum marital age in the last five years

Though some states have actively made strides towards eliminating and reforming child marriage within their borders, others have failed young girls by not making any substantial progress in years. Underage marriage is a complex issue with simple legislative solutions. See the reforms for yourself on our State Progress Database, and read the major takeaways now:

22 States Have Limited or Entirely Eradicated Child Marriage in the Last Five Years.

11 states

are currently pursuing life-saving legislation that would completely outlaw child marriage

Though some states have actively made strides towards eliminating and reforming child marriage within their borders, others have failed young girls by not making any substantial progress in years. Underage marriage is a complex issue with simple legislative solutions. See the reforms for yourself on our State Progress Database, and read the major takeaways now:

22 States Have Limited or Entirely Eradicated Child Marriage in the Last Five Years.

4 states

saved countless potential victims by eliminating underage marriage entirely

 

Even When Outright Bans Are Not Possible, Strengthened Underage Marriage Laws Save Lives

Even When Outright Bans Are Not Possible, Strengthened Underage Marriage Laws Save Lives

6 states

protected thousands by increasing the requirements for judicial approval of underage marriages

Even When Outright Bans Are Not Possible, Strengthened Underage Marriage Laws Save Lives

4 states

stipulated that only emancipated minors can get married

Even When Outright Bans Are Not Possible, Strengthened Underage Marriage Laws Save Lives

3 states

established maximum age differences between children’s intended  spouses 

 

Even When Outright Bans Are Not Possible, Strengthened Underage Marriage Laws Save Lives

But the Progress Isn’t Perfect: Some States Don’t Act and Others Move Backwards

15 states

have failed to advance any child marriage reforms in the last 5 years

But the Progress Isn’t Perfect: Some States Don’t Act and Others Move Backwards

4 states

have rejected or let lapse lifesaving underage marriage legislation

But the Progress Isn’t Perfect: Some States Don’t Act and Others Move Backwards

2 states

actually weakened judicial oversight requirements to make child marriage even easier 

“As a child raised to believe that a godly woman will save her family, his failings were a representation of my sin, my inability to be the wife God had called me to be. The way he behaved became my shame to carry.”

- Michelle

The movement to end child marriage is only as strong as the brave women who have come forward with their stories. Students Against Child Marriage is committed to elevating survivor voices as part of our mission to ensure the safety of countless children from coerced and abusive marriages. Survivors across the United States have been integral to reform efforts, and several have courageously shared their experiences with us. Read their stories, contribute, and take action to end child marriage now

Students Against Child Marriage is the first student nonprofit nationwide devoted to ending American child marriage. We are recognized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity by the IRS.

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  • Students Against Child Marriage Facebook Link
  • Students Against Child Marriage Twitter Link
  • Students Against Child Marriage LinkedIn Link