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Woman who married at 11 seeks to change Florida marriage law

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  — A woman who was 11 when she was forced to marry her rapist is now trying to change Florida law to prevent child marriages.

Sherry Johnson is pushing for a bill that would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from being allowed to marry in Florida.

The first step toward that goal was accomplished Tuesday, when a Senate committee unanimously approved the bill she’s backing.

Florida doesn’t have a minimum age for marriage if there’s a pregnancy, as long as a judge approves. State statistics show 72 people under the age of 16 married in Florida between 2010 and 2016.

Johnson is now 58 and she said being forced to marry at 11 is a pain she still struggles with, and that’s why she’s fighting to change the law.

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