What She Endured At 11 Years Old Reveals A Horrifying Truth About Child Marriage

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Author Sherry Johnson was only 11 years aged when she forcibly became a mom and mother. The father of her child was a 20-year-old member of her church who’d raped her.

When she was a small girl, Johnson and her family attended a regressive Pentecostal church in Florida, and says she was intimately assaulted by both a apportion and a parishioner, one of whom assimilated her. But when a rape review was launched by child gratification officials, her relatives done a offensive choice to finish a review by forcing their 11-year-old daughter to marry her rapist. “It was a terrible life,” Johnson said. Now as an adult, she’s vocalization out and fighting to stop child marriages in a U.S.

At 11 years old, Johnson didn’t even entirely know a judgment of marriage. “My mom asked me if we wanted to get married, and we said, ‘I don’t know, what is marriage, how do we act like a wife?’” she said. “She said, ‘Well, we theory you’re only going to get married.’”

Flickr / Steve Parker

Though a supervision clerk in Tampa refused to marry a small girl, a family went to a Pinellas County clerk instead, who released a matrimony license. Unfortunately, Florida did not have a smallest matrimony age behind afterwards and still doesn’t now, though Johnson hopes to change that with her story.

Flickr / Simon Davison

Before her matrimony eventually dissolved, she and her father had 9 children together. Johnson missed school, struggled to compensate expenses, and had no assistance from him in lifting their kids. She says he even deserted all of them from time to time. Not carrying any means to support herself, she was infirm to leave. “You can’t get a job, we can’t get a car, we can’t get a license, we can’t pointer a lease,” she said, “so because concede someone to marry when they’re still so young?”

Flickr / jess_war