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Is there a link between child marriage and domestic violence?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2019 | Domestic Violence

You may think of marriage as something that happens between adults. It is a very grown-up decision to make to enter into this type of relationship. However, it is not uncommon for people younger than 18 years old to get married. In fact, it is not illegal in many states, including Massachusetts, depending on the circumstances. Marrying too young has many consequences. One of the most unsettling is domestic violence.

According to Girls Not Brides, child brides who are under the age of 15 have a 50 percent chance of experiencing some type of domestic violence. Even marrying under the age of 18 increases the chances of experience abuse within the marriage. There is also a link between the age difference of the couple and violence in the marriage as a greater age difference increases the chances of domestic violence.

Usually, child marriages occur when the girl is younger. Although, boys may enter such marriages as well. In other countries, child marriages are often part of a tradition or done with the intention of protecting the child. However, marriage at such a young age often holds a child captive. It is more difficult for the child to express his or her wants and desires. He or she may also be unable to make his or her own decisions, such as those relating to a career or even about having children.

Child marriage is often repressive and usually involves a child and adult relationship, which only tips the scales to further repress the child. It is no surprise then that domestic violence is so prominent in such situations. This information is for education and is not legal advice.