Some 30 protesters joined Unchained At Last for a Chain-In in Trenton on June 1, 2017 – dressed in bridal gowns and veils, with arms chained and mouths taped – to send a powerful message to New Jersey legislators: override Gov. Christie’s conditional veto of A3091, the bill that would end child marriage in New Jersey.
Photo Credit: Kyle O’Leary
The activists who addressed the crowd at the the Chain-In included:
- Fraidy Reiss, Unchained At Last
- Sarah Taylor, Human Rights Watch
- Deb Huber, National Organization for Women – NJ
- Sonia Ossorio, National Organization for Women – NYC
- Dawn Mackey, activist
Child marriage – or marriage before age 18 – is a human-rights abuse that undermines girls’ health, education and economic opportunities and increases their risk of experiencing violence. Often, too, child marriage is forced marriage: Children can easily be forced into or trapped within a marriage, because they cannot easily access legal and other resources.
Yet marriage before 18 is legal in all 50 US states, and many thousands of children were married in the U.S. in the last decade. In Massachusetts alone, some 1,190 children as young as 14 were married between 2000 and 2014 – mostly girls wed to adult men. And forced marriage happens to adults too, but the US has long lagged behind other countries in acknowledging and responding to this human rights abuse.
The solution? Unchained started and now leads a growing national movement to end child marriage in the US, state by state, by writing, introducing and passing legislation to eliminate marriage before age 18.
Join the movement. Chain-In with us at a future Chain-In to grab the attention of policymakers and the public, and help end child marriage in America.