Advocates demand New York lawmakers outlaw child marriage

Posted at 8:32 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 20:32:07-05

Child advocates say New York's marriage law that allows children as young as 14 years old to wed can trap minors in sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Democratic Assemblywoman Amy Paulin on Tuesday introduced a bill to raise the minimum age for marriage to 17. New York is one of three states that allow 14-year-olds to marry with parental and judicial consent.

Twenty-seven states have no minimum age in state statute.

Paulin says between the years of 2000 and 2010, 3,850 minors were married in New York. Eighty-four percent of those children were minor girls married to adult men.

Child advocates say children have no escape from forced marriages because minors have limited access to legal services and domestic violence shelters.