Woman forced to marry at 15 says ‘everything changed, I wasn’t me anymore’: Part 1 I Nightline
Woman forced to marry at 15 says ‘everything changed, I wasn’t me anymore’: Part 1 I Nightline Woman forced to marry at 15 says ‘everything changed, I wasn’t me anymore’: Part 1 I NightlineThey’Re portrayed as modern-day Romeo and Juliet star-crossed lovers, I Now Pronounce You Man and reality shows like Say Yes to the Dress season: 17, hundreds of thousands of young girls Across America, their weddings, a far cry from happily ever after my aunt got on the bus and Said to get off the bus going to get married today I was 11 years of age when we got married and he was 20 child marriage. It’S an issue. Many can’t imagine exists in American neighborhoods, but over the course of a year-long investigation. We travel from the east coast to the mountains west to the Heartland, uncovering America’s child rhymes carrier in Steele Missouri. It’S a Small World town and we are about to meet Ashley, who got Ashley Duncan a freshman in high-school. What started as a typical school day ended with her becoming a wife on the bus after discovering she was pregnant, Ashley believe marrying her 18 year old boyfriend was her only option. Did anyone ask you anything at the courthouse? Did they take you aside, say? Are you sure you want to do this? No one has feeling at that point. I was scared, but at the time I was told and believed, since he was 18 or older, he would go to jail cuz I was pregnant. Did you understand at the time at age 15 what getting married meant? I don’t realize how big of a commitment I was making. What did you dream about when you dream about your wedding dress, but it’ll be different and a traditional wedding is the bride? Where is white and has been fired like a black tuxedo or something, and I wanted to wear a black dress and I wanted the men to wear white on that actual day to remember what you were wearing. I think I was wearing just regular pants that I wear everyday and I think I might hoodie yeah just called not the dress you dreamed about, not at all charmingly. The numbers show that Ashley story is far from unique. A report by the to hurry Justice Center revealed that between 2000 and 2015 over 200,000 children were married in America and it’s perfectly legal. Almost every feeding America allows child marriage with exceptions. Many require either the approval of a clerk or judge and or a parent or legal guardian, and in 13 states there is no minimum age to Wed. What was it like going to school? It was hard. I wasn’t the same going back as it was the day that I got on the bus in one day, yet it changed everything changed. I wasn’t me anymore. I had a hold of her last night. My teachers were getting confused. Kids realized pick at me because my name was different and I was too young to be married. So when you went to school that day you were Ashley Tidwell, Tidwell and one day you get married. That afternoon you go back to school and you took his name. So now you were Ashley soon enough, Ashley would drop out of school after 2 years of marriage in the birth of her second child. She and her husband would separate, even though Ashley and her husband were both teens, the vast majority of marriages being an adult man and a younger girl, some of them as young as 11, like Sherry Johnson, now, 59 years old. This is that 11 year old girl that got married. This is a dress that my mom made. What do you think it should not happen? I think that this shouldn’t, be she remarried, a man nearly twice your age. We got married that night after church. Nobody said anything I knew I was a child. I know I was 11, I knew he was 20, so I knew something was wrong then, and I was really totally surprised that they allow it to happen statutorily rater prior to their marriage. I was being raped by people with authority. I didn’t know what was actually really happening. I just know that something wasn’t right about it: she’d already given birth, their first child at just 10. Soon she was pregnant again. I remember going to school at the time in the fifth grade and coming home and had to wash diapers out in the tub like so many child. She dropped out of school over there seven years of marriage. She would have six children, finally leaving her husband when she turned 17 and later divorcing him. Miss Johnson is the reason for this pill. She is The Voice or this bill now she’s. On a mission fighting to end child marriage in Florida, Miss Johnson was raped at a very young age by her deacon at church and when it was found out that she was pregnant, her parents did the unthinkable they forced her to marry the man who impregnated her As a child story read into the record last year, just before lawmakers passed a bill meant to protect girls like her, your name is Mister president. There is obvious potential for abuse and exploitation, a whole host of hers to look for find a marriage license. That involves a child advocate Center tells us that, among child Brides, the rate of domestic abuse is 3 Times Higher and they are twice as likely to end up in poverty and drop out of school. In many states a marriage can be used as a legal loophole, allowing men to screw it statutory rape charges. You can be married younger than you can legally consent to sex. So you put all of this together and you’ve effectively Road Mantua that creditors can find a workaround through a marriage to gain sexual access to young girls. That would otherwise be prohibited Tom Ford and are helping to leave this campaign forward and their stories are heartbreaking. But they really do involve young girls twice older men, taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of perhaps an abusive or broken home, praying on them targeting grooming them that harsh reality painting some to action like fraidy Reiss, for testing current laws on the ground from the very blue State of Massachusetts for the steps of the Capitol in New Jersey, Reese is the head of the nonprofit Unchained at last. Much of her battle is to convince legislators and the public. The child marriage is an issue needing attention presidential palaces Friday at Unchained. At last, how you doing for Friday this is a personal Crusade, the location of roffis, the secret hidden to protect those who are trying to escape, but what’s pay really frustrating for Frady. Is that most of the time legally there’s nothing? She can do to help when a child reaches out to us and says: please help me. I’M about to be forced into a marriage, or I was just forced into a marriage, is almost nothing that we can do to help her charge of kidnapping. If we help her to leave home, I started this organization to help people and, I said, call me I’m going to help you and if I didn’t realize that, if you’re not yet 89 hope you and Wendy Scrolls call and they end up in the hospital because They tried to kill themselves or they just stop calling, and they I understand that they’ve given up and decided to go along with the marriage. It’S really heartbreaking, and that was why I said I’m not can accept that when we come back the fight to end child marriage continues and we meet a child bride who stands by her decision to marry young. There are a lot of lawmakers out there who think they will be protecting young girls stay with us, thanks for checking on ABC News YouTube channel if you’d like to get more video show, highlights and watch live event coverage click on the right over here subscribe to Our Channel and don’t forget to download the ABC News at 4 breaking news alerts thanks for watching Ashley Duncan, who was made to believe that getting married was her only option after discovering she was pregnant, is one of many who are fighting for states to pass laws that ban child marriage.
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