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Letter: Ending child marriage


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

I want to take a moment to thank Gov. Chris Sununu for championing and signing into law legislation that bans child marriage. Raising New Hampshire’s marriage age from 13 to 16 years old may not seem like a big deal but when you consider how many people from across the nation were calling town halls across the state hoping to marry a minor, the impact of the bill becomes more powerful.

In fact, in 2017, five child marriages were allowed in this state. Ending child marriage requires work across all sectors and at all levels. It requires us to understand the complex drivers behind the practice in different contexts and adapt our interventions accordingly. I’m thankful that the governor led on this issue and the Legislature did the right thing in passing it, after it failed to do so last year.

I also thank Cassie Levesque, who took on this cause as part of a Girl Scout project. Supporting young people to be agents of change can be an effective and empowering process in and of itself.

BETSY PATTEN

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