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Sherri Johnson

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Sherri Johnson was raped and wed to her abuser by 11-years-old. She was raped at 8 years old and pregnant with her first child by 10. She abandoned school after her first child came. After her traumatic experiences, she is determined to end child marriage in America.

Child marriage is more of a relevant problem than we think in the United States. In fact, between the years 2000 and 2015, at least 207,486 minors were married in the U.S alone. Each year alone, over 15 million girls are married under the age of 18… that’s 28 girls every minute and 1 girl every 2 seconds. If the United states sounds bad, India is the lead in the world for the highest number of child marriages, but Niger has the highest rate for child marriage which is 76 percent. Like mentioned before, the United States is also affected by the problem of child marriage. Our state, Arkansas is in the top three for child marriage at .025 percent.

Sherri Johnson is now 58 years old and is ready to meet with the state senator on this issue. Sherri is trying to actually pass a law that completely wipes out child marriage; she wants to

make it to where no one can get married under the age of 18. According to CNN, “Johnson has spent the last five years lobbying lawmakers to stop the kind of abuse she suffered in her childhood. An effort to ban child marriage under the age of 16 got traction in the Florida House in 2014 but went nowhere in the Senate. Since then, Johnson’s words have fallen on deaf ears. Doors have closed on her. Until recently. As incredible as this may sound, Florida stands poised to become the first state in America to say no to all marriages of minors.”

CNN also stated that, “Last year, Texas and Virginia enacted new laws limiting marriage to those 18 and over, but they made narrow exceptions for minors granted adult rights by the courts. The bills before the Florida legislature set 18 as the age for marriage and allow zero exceptions.”  Johnson is trying to make progress where all states will have a no child marriage law.

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Sherri Johnson