Action Alert:

End Child Marriage in Florida

The Children’s Campaign supports the end of child marriage in Florida. SB 140 sponsored by Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Lee County) unanimously passed the Children, Families, and Elder Affairs and is now on its way to the Rules Committee. This is a strong bill in its current form that eliminates all of the dangerous loopholes in law, and The Children’s Campaign strongly supports it. Take action today.

Facts:

Florida currently allows marriage of children of any age with so many loopholes that “protections” in present law are woefully insufficient.

Child marriage has been proven to lead to disastrous outcomes. In shocking cases exposed in the Florida media, it has even resulted in children being forced to marry their rapists.

While less dramatic than those instances, other negative outcomes of child marriage include higher rates of educational failure and dropping out of school, increased poverty, vulnerability to domestic violence, physical and verbal abuse and isolation, and abandonment. Health risks include mental illness, childbirth complications and a range of transmittable diseases. It also limits children’s autonomy and mobility to build supportive networks and to engage in social interaction.

Several bills have been filed this session in an attempt to limit or ban child marriage.

Warning:

In several other states, special interests have tried to weaken the ban by introducing exceptions. Some of these have included misdirected arguments about military benefits, escaping foster care and children’s rights. Some exceptions may have been promoted by dangerous cults. The policy team of The Children’s Campaign has considered these arguments and believes the facts remain that banning child marriage is the right path.

Act Today:

Members and supporters of The Children’s Campaign are encouraged to contact the Senate Rules Committee or your own Senator. Message: Support SB 140 with no exceptions.

Donate

Without your generous support, we cannot do this important work. Visit our secure online donation page to make a contribution. The Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. All donations will be acknowledged with a written mailed receipt and are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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