Today, the House of Representatives passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S.47), which includes language requiring the U.S. to develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent child marriage in developing countries. Throughout their time in Congress, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) have consistently fought to pass legislation that would reduce the number of child brides and give young girls a chance at a better life.
"For years, I have been working to protect young girls, even pre-teen girls, in poor countries from being forced to marry, forced into sex, and forced into lives of poverty. Today, with the passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, the United States will make protecting girls and preventing child marriage a foreign policy priority. Keeping girls and women safe from violence and abuse here at home and around the world will always be a priority for me," said Congresswoman McCollum.
"Child marriage is a tragedy happening on an epic scale around the world. This is a moral, economic and humanitarian crisis that doesn't receive nearly enough attention in our country," said Congressman Aaron Schock. "However, all that begins to change today with the passage of our legislation. On my trip with CARE to Ethiopia, I saw first-hand how child marriage devastates young girls physically and emotionally, while destroying their future. I'm grateful we can finally tell the world that help is on the way."