Girls as young as 12 years of age are being married in the US

Nikah, Married young girlBride at Nikah, Photo:

Girls as young as 12 years of age are being married in the United States of America

The age limit for entering into marriage in the United States is 18 years, but all states allow exceptions to the rule. 27 of the american federal states do not specify any age limit at all for getting married.


– This happens throughout the United States, in homes with different beliefs and convictions, Michelle DeMello (42) writes in her blog. At age 16, she became pregnant, and the Christian environment her family belongs to, forced her to marry her 19-years-old boyfriend – the father of the child. She felt she had no right to say no, after all, she made a lot of ‘noise’ by managing to get pregnant.

Endorsed by the law

But when she went to the expedition office in the city they lived in the state of Colorado, she thought someone would save her. That the office would refuse, the law would surely not allow a minor to get married? But it turned out not to be the case.

The story has been related by Fraidy Reiss. She is the founder of “Unchained At Last”, an ideal organization that helps women and girls get out of forced marriages and work to end child abuse in the United States. Michelle DeMello is still together with her spouse, which is very unusual when someone gets hitched that young.

Married as children

  • Of today’s population of 7.4 billion people, 700 million women have been married while still children.
  • If custom involving children being married is not broken, the world will have 1.2 billion child brides by 2050.
  • The youngest who are married are just nine years old, says ‘Girls Not Brides’, a global campaign against child marriages. Reports of children down to six years old has been reported in Yemen.


© Vårt Land / Norway Today