Adults are marrying children as young as 10 in US: report reveals

Child bride (YouTube)
Updated 11 July 2017

Adults are marrying children as young as 10 in US: report reveals

DUBAI: Shocking new figures have revealed that more than 200,000 children have been married in the US over the last 15 years.
Some of the children, who were as young as 10-years-old, wed adults that were decades older than them.
The minimum legal age for marriage in the US is 18, but there are legal loopholes that allow children to wed in certain circumstances, these include parental consent and pregnancy.
The official statistics suggest that at least 207,468 children were married between 2000 and 2015 in the US.

But the actual figure is likely to be far higher as 10 states provided either no information or incomplete statistics, according to information compiled by Unchained At Last, a group campaigning to abolish child marriage, and the investigative television documentary series Frontline.

There have been efforts to abolish child marriages altogether, but it has been met in some cases with opposition.

New Jersey’s Republican governor refused to sign a law that would made the state the first to have an outright ban on child marriage, without exception claiming it would conflict with religious customs.

Founder of Unchained at Last, Fraidy Reiss, said she was “literally shaking” when saw the data for New Jersey that revealed nearly 3,500 children had been married between 1995 and 2012.
She explained: “That number was so much higher than I had thought it would be… Then, the fact that the children were as young as 13 and the fact that it was mostly girls married to adult men.”
In June New York banned children under 17 from marrying; the age had previously been 14, with parental and court permission.
The figures have shown that it is mostly girls married across the country between 2000 and 2015, with most aged 16 or 17.
But the youngest to marry were three 10-year-old girls in Tennessee in 2001, who married men, aged 24, 25 and 31.
The youngest boy to marry was 11. He married a 27-year-old woman in the same state in 2006.
There were more than 1,000 children, 14-years-old or younger, who were granted marriage licenses. The breakdown in stats showed that 12-year-olds were granted marriage licenses in Alaska, Louisiana and South Carolina.
A further 11 states granted licenses to 13-year-olds.
The majority of the children were married to partners aged 18 to 29, with 60 percent aged 18 or 20.
But there were some instances where children were married to people decades older than them – that included a 14-year-old girl who wed a 74-year-old man in Alabama.
Lawyer Jeanne Smoot, of the Tahirih Justice Center, that provides legal support to women fleeing violence, and has called for an end to child marriages said most of the children were from poor backgrounds in rural areas.
“Almost all the evidence indicates that girls in cities don’t get married young, that girls from middle class or wealthy families, don’t get married young. This is a rural phenomenon and it is a phenomenon of poverty.”


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.