Day: January 25, 2017


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little girls not brides

GIRLS NOT BRIDES AND WHAT IS is the impact on young little girl brides when they are forced into marriage and become Little Child Brides? Child Brides are more prevalent among polygamous groups as there are not enough women in these societies to fulfill the need for additional wives required by the men. Subsequently the men look at little girls not brides in the community to full fill their needs. Some groups such as Warren Jeff’s followers in the FLDS Church, even look at girls as young as 12 years of age as marriage prospects. Some men in these communities will marry a divorced or widowed lady with young daughters. This is done with the idea of marrying their step daughters when they become 12 years old or older. You will recall that Warren Jeff’s is the prophet leader of the FLDS Church and is currently serving a life sentence in prison for marrying young girls and giving them in marriage to other men. Child abuse is often associated with Child Brides. Also many of the boys in these communities are often abused as they are thrown out of the community to fend for themselves, having had little education and being unfamiliar with the ways of the world. Thus there is less competition for the men who are watching the young girls.

So what is the impact on these young girls when they are forced into marriage usually to old or older men? Is it usually related to child abuse? Child Brides are becoming more prevalent outside of the polygamous communities, more so in religious groups and in lower income areas and countries.  Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. That is 28 girls a minute that are married off too soon, endangering their personal development and wellbeing. In lower income countries 1 in 3 girls will marry before the age of 18 and 1 in 9 will marry before the age of 15. In polygamous colonies the rate will be much higher. 

Child Brides face huge challenges as a result of being married as children and often it is child abuse manifested in different manners. Isolated, often with their freedom curtailed, girls frequently feel disempowered and are often deprived of their fundamental rights to health, education and safety. Neither physically or emotionally ready to become wives and mothers, are at a greater risk of experiencing dangerous complications in pregnancy and childbirth and suffering domestic violence. With little access to education and economic opportunities they and their families are more likely to live in poverty. Communities also feel the impact as systems that undervalue the contribution and participation of girls and women limit their own possibilities for growth and stability.

Decisions about sexuality, sexual relationships and reproduction are some of the most important one can make in regards to aspects of a persons life along with education, type of employment and how one lives. Little Girls not brides in early marriage prevents girls from making these decisions for themselves. In fact marrying little girls not brides simply transfers the control of little girls sexuality to others. Parents are replaced by husbands and in-laws, who assess a little girls not brides in terms of the physical and reproductive labor they bring to the family. The polygamy leaders generally do not think that young girls have the right to make these decisions. In polygamous colonies the male usually makes the major decisions, particularly the sexual decisions about little girls not brides.  

In most cases there probably isn’t a lot we can do to stop or influence people in their marriage endeavors. We can be a support and watch for signs of abuse and give encouragement when needed. Be a friend so they can confide in you and seek your help when needed.