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Florida Woman, Forced to Marry at Age 11, Now Pushing for New Child Marriage Law

Florida Woman, Forced to Marry at Age 11, Now Pushing for New Child Marriage Law
Posted at 8:52 PM, Jun 13, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- A Florida woman is sharing her story of triumph and survival.

Imagine this: being raped at just 9 years old and becoming pregnant. 2 years after that, at only 11 years old, being forced to marry the accused rapist. While it may sound like something you’ve only see in movies, for Sherry Johnson, it’s a childhood that was very much a reality.

At 11, a child herself, Johnson says her mother gave consent for her to marry the unborn child’s father…the adult male behind the rape.

“I had no idea what it was. And I didn't even know when I had...when I was pregnant, I didn't have an idea of giving birth. So, everything was new to me,” Johnson said.

From there and over the course of 7 years, 5 more children were born. Until at 18, considered a legal adult and ready to take her life back, Johnson divorced.

Now reflecting on her journey through a new book, ‘Forgiving The Unforgivable’, she’s on a mission to pass a state law to curb underage marriages. Currently in Florida, a child can marry by reason of pregnancy with parental consent.

“Once I see one child that does not get married at the age of 10, 11, 12 13, on up to 17, I’m happy. What I’ve been through, it’s worth it all.”

Johnson is also the founder of ‘The Tamar Foundation’. The Tallahassee-based organization aims to raise awareness of sexual abuse.