Advocates demand New York lawmakers outlaw child marriage


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Child advocates said New York’s marriage law that allows children as young as age 14 to wed can trap minors in sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Democratic Assemblywoman Amy Paulin introduced a bill on Tuesday, Feb. 14, to raise the minimum age for marriage to 17.

New York is one of three states that allow 14-year-olds to marry with parental and judicial consent. Twenty-seven states have no minimum age in state statute.

Paulin said between the years of 2000 and 2010, 3,850 minors were married in New York. Eighty-four percent of those children were minor girls married to adult men.

Child advocates said children have no escape from forced marriages because minors have limited access to legal services and domestic violence shelters.