When Sherry Johnson was eleven, she found one day that she’s gonna marry a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her. She became pregnant and in order to avoid investigation and criminal case, her family and church officials decided to make the girl a legal wife of this monster.
“My mom asked me if I wanted to get married, and I said, ‘I don’t know, what is marriage, how do I act like a wife?’” Johnson remembers today, many years later. “She said, ‘Well, I guess you’re just going to get married.’”
However, her case is one of thousand cases of child marriage. According to statistics, children 16 and under are still being married in Florida at a rate of one every few days.
Johnson and her family also attended a conservative Pentecostal church and that other girls of a similar age periodically also married. One girl said when she was 10 she was raped by both a minister and a parishioner and later gave birth to a daughter. There were all documents confirming her and her child’s age, but still, the judge approved the marriage to end the rape investigation, telling her,
“What we want is for you to get married.”
And nevertheless, America prefers to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, like in Syria, calling it “defending freedom” rather than to change states’ laws and to protect American children from rape, coercion and molestation.
Today, Johnson is campaigning for a state law to stop underage marriage that has already become a norm in some states.
Please, help me to raise awareness to this issue. No one can remain indifferent to the problem of child molestation.