UMass Law Professor Margaret Drew published an article in the Standard Times on Massachusetts child marriage. Between 2000 and 2015 over one thousand children were legally married in Massachusetts, most of which have been girls marrying older men, which reported later are often filled with abuse. Since Massachusetts has no existing law on minimum age for marriage, the organization of child marriage is not often protected by court.
Last year, there was an introduction of legislation to end forced marriage of minors, prohibiting marriage in Commonwealth before the age of 18. The legislators have also filed an additional bill designed to assist minors who are fleeing abusive marriages or experiencing other abuse. Professor Drew wrote that these new bills will create a pathway to resources that can help keep minors safe:
“The proposed legislation will end forced marriage of minors in Massachusetts while removing any roadblocks that might limit the ability of minors to prevent or end abusive relationships. Massachusetts legislators would do well to embrace these bills and we ask citizens of the Commonwealth to protect minors from forced marriage and its consequences by calling their representatives and urging them to support bills S24 and H1478.”
Professor Drew is the Director of UMass Law’s Human Rights at Home Clinic, which focuses on securing fundamental human rights for individuals with limited means within the United States. Professor Drew is also co-founder and editor of Human Rights at Home Blog.
To read Professor Drew's article:
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