Tahirih Justice Center

Prevent Forced Marriages

The Justice of the Peace Association established a partnership with the Tahirih Justice Center, with the purpose of running the first-ever webinar for marriage officiants about child and forced marriage and human trafficking. The Tahirih Justice Center is a national, non-profit organization that elevates the voices of women and girls in communities, courts, and Congress to create a world where they enjoy equality and live in safety and with dignity. Its project, The Forced Marriage Initiative, is convening the webinar with JPus.

The mission of the Forced Marriage Initiative is to end forced marriage in the United States.

Confronted with the possibility of being asked to perform a child marriage, JPus members spoke out. They would not want to perform such a wedding, and would likely refuse to do so. As professional marriage officiants, our members comply with the laws of their state and our association’s Code of Ethics. These two would be in conflict. The officiant would be complicit, destroying the health, education and economic opportunities of girls if s/he performed a child marriage ceremony. Child marriage increases the risk that the girl is subjected to violence. Because children under the age of 18 are not allowed to access rape crisis centers or domestic violence shelters, she would have no recourse.

The Justice of the Peace Association has taken a leadership role, advocating on behalf of its members and officiants across the country.

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