Zonta Empower Hour to focus on forced childhood marriage

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News release 

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley’s Empower Hour is scheduled noon Feb. 5 to feature Sara Tasneem, a child bride at age 15. Now a survivor, she advocates against child/forced marriage and violence against women and girls. Tasneem was born and raised in Southern California and was featured in “Knots, A Forced Marriage Story.” 

This roundtable discussion is to be hosted via Zoom by the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley’s Advocacy Committee. The “Zonta Empowers: Take Action” series that is offered several times a year has highlighted subjects like human trafficking and PTSD  

This is a virtual event and free to everyone who has a desire to learn more about child marriage and what can be done. The session will cover mature topics and participants are advised to keep minors away from this conversation. Advanced reservations are required by registering at bit.ly/35rQMrP. 

A child marriage is a marriage in which at least one party is under 18 years of age. As of January 2022, in nine states there is no legal minimum age when all exemptions were considered. California is included in those nine states. 

As of July 2021, six states and two territories have banned underage marriages, with no exception: New Jersey (2018), Delaware (2018), Pennsylvania (2020), Minnesota (2020) Rhode Island (2021), New York (2021), American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Between 2000 and 2018, nearly 300,000 minors were legally married in the United States. Most of the child marriages in the U.S. were between a minor girl and an adult man. In some states, minors cannot legally divorce or leave their spouse, and domestic violence shelters typically do not accept minors. 

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