UltraViolet Praises Bill Officially Raising Age of Consent for Marriage to 18-Years-Old in New York

CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | anna@unbendablemedia.com

UltraViolet Praises Bill Officially Raising Age of Consent for Marriage to 18-Years-Old in New York

ALBANY, NY — Moments ago, legislation was signed to raise the age of consent for marriage in New York State to 18-years-old. The new bill builds on 2017 legislation eliminating child marriage by removing the ability for 17-year-olds to be married with parental and judicial consent.
The legislation will take effect 30 days after becoming law and apply to marriage licenses issued after that date and marriages that had not been solemnized prior to that date. New York is the sixth state to ban marriage of children under the age of 18 with no exceptions. The other five states are Delaware, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and New Jersey.

In response, Elisa Batista, campaign director at UltraViolet, a leading national women’s advocacy organization, issued the following statement:

“Child marriage is not consent. It is child abuse.

“Girls who are married under the age of 18 are at much higher risk for stress-related and fatal diseases like heart disease and stroke, and poverty. Children or adolescents under 18 are not entitled to many legal rights, including divorce. As a result, girls who are forced to marry so young are often trapped in abusive relationships as they do not have the legal right to a divorce. Some women’s shelters may not take them in because they are married, even if they’ve been abused.

“We applaud child marriage survivor Naila Amin, who was instrumental in spearheading and championing this bill, known as “Naila’s Law.” We also thank state and national partner organizations, like Tahirih Justice Center, Unchained At Last, and the wider National Coalition to End Child Marriage in the United States for forming a movement to end the antiquated and abusive practice of child marriage.

“We hope this baseline standard sets an example for the rest of the nation to follow suit and end child marriage under the age of 18 with no exceptions.”

Over the past several months, UltraViolet has worked with local partner organizations in New York State, sponsoring a petition that urged Gov. Cuomo to sign the bill effectively ending child marriage and increasing the age of consent to 18 with no exceptions.

VIEW THE PETITION HERE: https://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/child_marriage_NY

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