Imagine if a child could be entered into a legal marriage, with no input from them – then forbidden to file for divorce. Imagine if the child were not allowed to leave home and seek help if the marriage turned abusive.
This is not a dystopian nightmare. It's the reality in much of the United States.
Child marriage, or marriage before 18, remains legal in 46 U.S. states, as well as three U.S. territories, including the District of Columbia. Typically, these marriages are approved with nothing more than a parent's signature on a form, known as "parental consent." This is often "parental coercion," and sometimes, a judicial rubberstamp.