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Child marriage remains legal in every state, putting children at risk of domestic and sexual violence and poverty.

Child marriage is legal in every state and, even in the few states where statutes limit marriage to “legal adults,” there are exceptions for emancipated minors.Tahirih Justice Center, Falling Through the Cracks: How Laws Allow Child Marriage to Happen in Today’s America, (Falls Church, VA: Tahirih Justice Center, 2017); and Unchained at Last, “Child Marriage—Legal in Every State,” Thanks to the work of the advocacy organizations Unchained at Last, the Tahirih Justice Center, and others, 2017 brought growing awareness to this problem, as well as legislative efforts to reduce this harm.Tahirih Justice Center, Falling Through the Cracks (2017); Nicholas Kristof, “11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida,” New York Times, May 26, 2017; TrustLaw, “TrustLaw Impact Award 2017 (video),”; and Unchained at Last, “Child Marriage.” These advocates worked to pass legislation to end or reduce child marriage in thirteen states.“Child Marriage Has Become Less Common in America. But it Still Exists,” Economist, December 7, 2017.