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Rhode Island Strategy

Underage Marriage Prevalence in Rhode Island:

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 161 minors aged 15 to 17 in Rhode Island are currently trapped in child marriages as of 2018, a startling 4 children per thousand. But, because Rhode Island allows minors of any age to be married, 161 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 Rhode Island:

Rhode Island does not set a lowest possible marital age. As a result, children of any age can be, and are, frequently forced into underage marriages. A minor can be married with the consent of just one parent or guardian, and although judicial approval is required, the decision to enable this abuse is entirely at the judge’s personal discretion. There is thus 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 Rhode Island’s Underage Marriage Laws:

Despite its high rate of underage marriage, Rhode Island hasn’t introduced any legislation to reform their problematic and enablist laws in the last 15 years. Students Against Child Marriage is dedicated to introducing and passing legislation in Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island:

We are currently in conversation with lawmakers to determine what actions you can take to ensure lifesaving child marriage reform is passed in Rhode Island. Sign up for our Rhode Island 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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