In the State of Florida, it is currently perfectly legal for someone 16 or 17-years-old to marry, given parental consent. However, a controversial law exists that makes it legal for someone of any age, who has their own child, to marry. That means that if a 12 or 13-year old becomes pregnant and has a child, they could be married. One example of this is Florida native Sherry Johnson.
Johnson was raped repeatedly as a young girl, became pregnant at age 10, had a baby, and was forced to marry her rapist at age 11. Johnson wrote a memoire called “Forgiving the Unforgivable” in 2013. “I was told that I needed to marry. And because of religion reasons, marriage was the best outcome of the situation — to put the handcuffs on me and not him,” Johnson said. “But my handcuffs were a veil and a white dress that my mom made.”
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