On the heels of the Human Trafficking blog posted last week about under-age females, another travesty against young girls surfaces. Andrew Buncombe exposes youth-marriages in the USA cleverly disguised as an acceptable action, due to parental consent. The deception, according to some of the parents, simply say they were duped! In reality, this is another form of modern day slavery, and the worst part of this scenario occurs once the young female is married – there is no legal recourse!
OMG or aghast is the expression due to lack of better words. This borders slavery – not human trafficking; although, now there is no legal punishment to the offender – he’s married and probably holds absolute power over these young girls. Statutory rape laws are even negated! How can parents be duped? Something’s wrong here. The perpetrator must be a really smooth talker to seduce parents! What were they thinking?
But wait, there is hope on the horizon for these young indentured children, especially in Virginia. As of last week, the state recognized and passed a law that put the kids on this activity. According to the Washington Post, Virginia “set minimum marriage age to 18 or 16, if a child is emancipated by the courts.” California, Maryland, New York and New Jersey followed with similar legislation. Come on folks, this is 2016 and there are still 6 states without laws protecting under-age females (16), to marry with parental consent; pregnancy is the exception!
In an effort to bring awareness to this plight in America, an actor staged a ‘wedding’ event in Times Square, New York (see link to the YouTube video below). Clearly, the public was outraged, and wanted to take action – police action, but the tragedy occurs behind closed doors.
Here’s the irony regarding this social disease. It’s not only occurring in the slums, as one might surmise. In fact, a prominent person in the affluent town of Falls Church, Virginia was notified about a teacher having sex with a student. The teacher promptly married the student and negated prosecution. Double jeopardy exists, that’s for sure.
Just to put things in stark perspective, according to Mr. Buncombe’s article, Virginia Introduces Law to Stop 12-Year-Old Girls Getting Married, “there are 33,000 girls around the world forced to marry every day.” Now, that’s quite a conclusion to this blog!
By Sharla Esparza