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New Hampshire Child Marriage Bill: A Step Towards Ending Child Marriage

New Hampshire is making headlines with its recent move to raise the minimum marriage age to 18, a significant step towards prohibiting child marriage in the state. This development is crucial in protecting the rights and well-being of children, especially girls, who are disproportionately affected by child marriage. According to chimketnoi.com, thousands of children are married off every year, and this bill is a crucial step towards putting an end to this harmful practice. The new hampshire child marriage bill aims to change this by raising the minimum marriage age to 18, making New Hampshire one of the first states to completely ban child marriage.

Current Minimum Marriage Age in New Hampshire 16, with some exceptions allowing children as young as 13 to be married
Proposed Minimum Marriage Age 18
Impact of the Bill Protecting the rights and well-being of children, especially girls, who are disproportionately affected by child marriage
Potential Nationwide Impact Setting a precedent for other states to follow, potentially leading to a nationwide ban on child marriage

New Hampshire Child Marriage Bill: A Step Towards Ending Child Marriage
New Hampshire Child Marriage Bill: A Step Towards Ending Child Marriage

I. The Current State of Child Marriage in New Hampshire

New Hampshire, like many other states in the US, has a problem with child marriage. Currently, the minimum marriage age in New Hampshire is 16, with some exceptions allowing children as young as 13 to be married. This is alarming, as it means that children who are barely teenagers are being forced into marriages against their will.

Year Number of Child Marriages
2019 250
2018 300

These numbers are staggering, and they highlight the need for change. Child marriage is a harmful practice that can have severe physical and emotional consequences for the children involved.

  • Increased risk of domestic violence
  • Higher risk of sexual abuse
  • Lower education attainment

II. The Journey to Raise the Minimum Marriage Age

The Advocacy Efforts

The journey to raise the minimum marriage age in New Hampshire has been a long and arduous one. Advocacy groups and lawmakers have been pushing for this change, citing the need to protect children from the harmful effects of child marriage. Senate Bill 359, sponsored by Sen. Debra Altschiller, D-Stratham, has been years in the making.

Year Advocacy Efforts
2018 Advocacy groups begin pushing for a change in the minimum marriage age
2020 Senate Bill 359 is introduced to raise the minimum marriage age to 18

The Opposition

Despite the efforts of advocates and lawmakers, the bill has faced opposition from some lawmakers, who argue that children as young as 16 are mature enough to make decisions about marriage. However, advocates argue that child marriage can have severe physical and emotional consequences for the children involved.

  • Increased risk of domestic violence
  • Higher risk of sexual abuse
  • Lower education attainment

If signed into law, the New Hampshire child marriage bill will have significant implications for the welfare and well-being of children in the state. By raising the minimum marriage age to 18, the bill will protect children from forced marriages and allow them to complete their education. This is crucial, as child marriage can have severe physical and emotional consequences for the children involved.

Benefits of Raising the Minimum Marriage Age
Protection from forced marriages
Completion of education
Reduced risk of domestic violence and sexual abuse

Furthermore, the bill may also set a precedent for other states to follow, potentially leading to a nationwide ban on child marriage. This is a crucial step towards protecting the rights and well-being of children across the country.

  • Potential nationwide ban on child marriage
  • Protection of children’s rights and well-being
  • Precedent for other states to follow

III. Final Thought

The passing of the New Hampshire child marriage bill is a significant step towards protecting the rights and well-being of children. By raising the minimum marriage age to 18, the state is taking a crucial step towards prohibiting child marriage and ensuring that children are protected from the harmful effects of early marriage. This bill sets a precedent for other states to follow, potentially leading to a nationwide ban on child marriage.

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