HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » This Is What It's Like to...

Tue May 28, 2019, 07:02 AM

This Is What It's Like to Be a Mom at 10 and Married at 11 in Florida

Johnson was forced to marry her rapist to help him evade punishment.
Sherry Johnson is a child marriage survivor, an author, and an activist.

At age 11, she was forced to marry her rapist after she gave birth to his child, allowing him ó a church deacon ó to escape legal punishment for his crime, and robbing her of her childhood. But Johnson is just one of 700 million women worldwide who was married as a child, based on UNICEFís data.

A Florida native, Johnson has now made it her mission to ensure that no other child meets the same fate she did. Her goal is to shed light on the issue of child marriage in the US, where, depending on the circumstances, marriage before the age of 18 is permitted in all 50 states, according to Human Rights Watch.

Between 2000 and 2010, more than 167,000 children were married before their 17th birthdays in 38 states, according to the non-profit Unchained At Last. Nearly 10% of those children, like Johnson, were married in Florida ó one of 25 states where a child of any age can be married off under certain circumstances.

Johnsonís story of strength and resilience is below, as told to Global Citizen.

There are so many simple things I didnít get the chance to do.

I never played with dolls or used my imagination to make up lives for them the way many other children did because I had a real doll ó one I had to make real decisions for. I had to feed my daughter real food, change real diapers that I washed by hand and hung on the line.

And I was 10 years old.

I survived being raped at age 8 by the church bishop and then by my momís husband. When I was 9, I was raped again, this time by the deacon of the church.

I got pregnant.

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/child-marriage-bride-survivor-florida-law-sherry/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share&_branch_match_id=661222115631803828&fbclid=IwAR1ZMV8QN2PB9_VScgaO08jsGDLxGUqSzj0iHn97W33Oh36Vs-1emBh0pEg
This is the DU member formerly known as mfcorey1.

11 replies, 5105 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 07:13 AM

1. So amazing is her journey and cause... She's really worthy of a lot of respect and admiration.

I can't help but wish she might have touched on any repercussions that might have happened with her first husband--even if there were none. I hope he was (at a minimum) exposed for the monster he was and got by with --all in the name of patriarchy and false purveyor of religion.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 07:54 AM

2. In Wisconsin, I worked with a young black mother.

She was unmarried, and told us a story about what happened at her church. Since she was starting to show, she was called before the board of deacons, to explain her conduct. "Are you planning on marrying the father?" He does not want to get married, she replied. Then, she should not have had sex with him. After taking their criticism, she finally unloaded. One by one, she called out the deacons. "Your daughter wore white at her marriage, and we all know she was pregnant" Another one "Your daughter claims her baby is premature., but nobody gives birth to an 8 1/2 lb. premature baby" A third "Your daughter is sexually active, with no steady boyfriend. You should counsel HER on pre-marital sex" On she went, until she had unloaded all her frustration, then she turned and left the room. None of the deacons had an answer for her. Those of us listening to the story were laughing, and congratulating her. What a brave woman she is. She proudly raised her daughter with help from her mother. Now she is a grandmother, and will always be one of my heroes. So proud to have met her, and will never forget how brave she was, facing all those hypocrites on her own.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 08:37 AM

3. yet another reason to say "fuck you" to religion.

This is utterly horrifying. Should be spread far and wide, byt sadly the pro life dipshits only encourage this sort of thing and probably even make it worse.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Initech (Reply #3)

Tue May 28, 2019, 11:16 AM

6. Now really. You're comparing ALL people of faith

to these creeps? If you can hang onto that feeling, though, you'll understand why some anti-abortion types loathe all Democrats for cutting up term babies in the womb before they can be born.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hortensis (Reply #6)

Tue May 28, 2019, 11:17 AM

7. Yeah true, there's no comparing anything to these low life scumbags.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Initech (Reply #7)

Tue May 28, 2019, 11:30 AM

8. Yes, these were really bad people.

In comparison is the story of what happened when Nujood Ali (I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced) escaped from her family, walked into a government office in Yemen and told them she wanted a divorce. The Yemenis there knew children were married in impoverished rural areas especially, of course, but they were shocked and gave her the help she needed.

It's not religion per se, it's very strong conservative, probably fundamentalist, religion versus moderate and liberal religions and the kind of people who choose them.

And of course that bastard judge. Too many of his unspeakably callous, knuckledragging kind are being appointed to the bench by Republicans in this era. Though it wouldn't be happening if people who imagine they're better had just taken a few minutes to vote against the evils they promise.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hortensis (Reply #8)

Tue May 28, 2019, 11:41 AM

9. I definitely know a few fire and brimstone types on both sides of my family.

I'm not saying that all religion is bad. But some people take religion too far and religion does cause a lot of very bad people to do some very bad things. I know the true fire and brimstone people are a very small percentage of the overall religious population. But if religion is going to teach people about love and acceptance, they should practice what they preach. That's what I am saying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Initech (Reply #9)

Tue May 28, 2019, 11:53 AM

10. There's enough truth in that old saying that

religion makes good people better and bad people worse to keep it going for sure.

A minister who owned and ran his own church and school used to live across the road with his family. He wore his "bad" on his mean, suspicious face, and boy he apparently nailed us as not righteous, godly people even before our first meeting. He was careful to keep his family away from evil influences, and we almost never spoke. Happily his church failed and they moved, though I'm afraid his nice wife and daughters are probably still with him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 11:01 AM

4. The church should pay for all her child-rearing expenses and a college education. Period.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 11:10 AM

5. Just for perspective she was 10 almost 50 years ago now.

It still would have been shocking then for most Americans, especially in areas of liberal-dominated culture. We're not talking about 1970 in rural Pakistan or Yemen after all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mfcorey1 (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 12:09 PM

11. Good effin' grief

patriarchy is evil

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread