Target: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
Goal: Applaud raising the minimum marriage age to 18.
Children as young as 12 years old will no longer be forced into marriage, thanks to a new law in the state of Virginia. The newly-enacted bill raises the minimum marriage age to 18, or 16 if a child is emancipated by court order.
Child marriage was a surprisingly common issue in Virginia up until the passing of this law. In the span of nine years (from 2004 to 2013), approximately 4,500 children under the age of 18 got married in the state. More than 200 of these children were 15 years old or younger.
These marriages were justified through parental consent and cases of pregnancy, but the outdated laws served more as a disguise for human trafficking and statutory rape. The problem was highlighted in this ForceChange petition.
Thanks to an extended battle from dedicated activists, child marriage is no longer an issue in Virginia. Sign the petition below to thank the governor for ushering in this legislation.
Dear Mr. McAuliffe,
I am writing to commend you and your fellow legislators for finally putting an end to child marriage in your state. Until recently, thousands of young children were being forced into marriages, with these unions often serving as protection for child traffickers and pedophiles.
The new legislation puts an end to this practice, and will assuredly provide necessary support to youths across the state. I can only hope that other states will follow your progressive example. Thank you for realizing the urgency of the situation and leading the movement to curb it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alexas Fotos