Resistbot Petition: End Child Marriage in Missouri Now! (Mo. only)

An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures (Mo. only)

End Child Marriage in Missouri Now!

26 so far! Help us get to 50 signers!

I urge you to support SB767 (Thompson Rehder) and SB1342 (Arthur), which raise the age of marriage to 18. Child marriage poses a grave threat to the well-being of children, with Missouri ranking 16th in child marriage per capita. The General Assembly has consistently prioritized child protection, making it imperative that we take legislative action. Shockingly, between 2000 and 2018, nearly 300,000 children under 18 were legally married in the US, disproportionately girls wed to adult men. This alarming trend exposes these girls to heightened risks of serious health issues, intimate partner violence, and mental health disorders, severely impacting their education and future earning potential. The repercussions extend to teenage mothers, for whom marriage and subsequent divorce drastically increase the likelihood of poverty. The trauma inflicted by child marriage is not limited to individuals; it imposes a significant societal cost. By raising the marriage age to 18, we uphold children's rights and protect their innocence and potential. Envision a 16-year-old girl, brimming with dreams and aspirations, burdened with the responsibilities of marriage and potential motherhood. This is not the future we should envision for our daughters. Thus, raising the marriage age is crucial for safeguarding our children and ensuring their well-being and future prospects. Child marriage, defined as marriage under 18, has been recognized internationally as a human rights violation by the United Nations. The United States Department of State similarly views forced marriage, especially involving minors, as a form of child abuse and a human rights abuse. Until 2017, child marriage was legal in all 50 states, but increased awareness and advocacy have shed light on its dangers. Child marriage essentially coerces minors into dangerous unions, exacerbated by legal and practical barriers that hinder their escape from abusive situations. Moreover, child marriage undermines statutory rape laws, as marriage licenses can shield child rapists from prosecution, endangering the child's immediate safety and future well-being. This practice disempowers women and girls, making them more vulnerable to domestic and sexual violence. I fully support legislative efforts to combat child marriage and urge you to do the same.

▶ Created on February 14 by MO Residents

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