And then when authorities investigated, I was forced to marry my rapist to cover up my own rape. So, instead of handcuffing him for what he did, they handcuffed me by putting me, an year-old, in a wedding dress. In , at the age of 52 and spurred with a desire to make sure what happened would not happen to another child, Sherry advocated for change. She walked the legislature floors to change the laws in Florida.
Sherry also started SVon Foundation , a non-profit organization focused on eradicating Child Marriage across the nation and changing laws and policy at all governmental levels to address the gaps in the legal system that perpetuate it. SVon Foundation brings awareness, advocacy and support for victims of sexual abuse and child marriage.
watch Around the globe, 28 girls are married off every minute. In the U.
Most of these marriages are coerced and involve girls marrying adult men much older. In March , after 6 years of relentlessly politicking for change, Sherry successfully influenced State lawmakers to close the legal loophole that allowed child marriage to be recognized by the law with the passing of State Bill This new legislation is an important milestone in the fight to end child marriage in the U.
Equality Now works tirelessly with our partners, like Svon Foundation, to ensure these laws exist and that every woman is equal in law and life. Michelle Anderson got pregnant at age Her community was pressuring her family to marry her off to her year-old boyfriend.
Michelle says:. It happened to me and I am right here.
They stole my voice but now I have it back and I am going to use it over and over and over until child marriage in America is no longer legal. My father and stepmother decided to move to Texas and set up a business.
The coalition of black and Hispanic civil rights groups are challenging the grounds of another lawsuit that seeks to overturn the ban. It passed with 62 percent of the vote.
Their lawsuit is one of many similar cases pending nationwide. Judges have struck down gay marriage bans as discriminatory in other states, and the U. Supreme Court last year issued a decision invalidating the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
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Thanks to your participation, the Florida Coalition to Protect Marriage was able to help collect more than the required , certified signatures needed for the. NOM has filed a major brief with the United Stated Supreme Court urging SCOTUS to protect people of faith from governmental discrimination because of their.
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