Stepping Up and Speaking Out
206 girls have their futures stolen every day because of child marriage.
Some forced underage marriages are short-lived. But for most child marriage survivors, it takes decades to escape from this domestic violence. Controlling husbands. Financial insecurity. Low educational achievement. Concern for their children. Impenetrable divorce laws and a lack of outside support. For these tragic reasons and so many others, child marriage survivors often spend their childhood and early adult life trapped in abusive situations that result in a legacy of trans-generational trauma.
Survivor voices have tremendous power and capacity to save lives and change laws. But reopening wounds can come at the cost of re-traumatization and can ultimately cause more harm to themselves than help to other child marriage victims. The brave women who share their experiences are part of a nationwide community of survivors who have courageously stepped up, spoken out, and propelled the movement to end child marriage onto the national stage.
Several underage marriage survivors have generously offered their stories to Students Against Child Marriage so that we may publish them in the hopes of showing the world the true colors of child marriage. Each story is unique and speaks to the courage and perseverance of survivors to both survive and thrive in their fight to protect countless young girls from coerced underage marriage.
We are additionally committed to providing assistance to those currently facing, fleeing, or recovering from a child marriage. Please visit our Resources for Survivors page for domestic violence hotlines, educational information, and connections to confidential survivor intervention professionals across the nation.