In Latin America and Caribbean, 25% of girls marry or enter unions before the age of 18.*
They are more likely to experience physical, sexual, psychological and emotional abuse.
To end gender-based violence and violence against children, we need to end child, early and forced marriage and unions.
This is Valeri's** story, told in her own words.
This story was created with Girls Not Brides member organisation HIAS, who help forcibly displaced women and girls pursue their potential and access human rights, free from violence and oppression. They work with communities to reduce risk, increase support for those who have experienced gender-based violence and build partnerships with women-led organisations to meet the safety, health, psychosocial, legal and economic needs of women and girls, and facilitate access to appropriate care and justice.
**Name changed to protect her identity
Illustration: Girls Not Brides/Marcela Quiroz
Child marriage and violence against children
Find out more about the links between child marriage and violence against children around the world through the Girls Not Brides brief Child Marriage: A form of Violence Against Children and use the Out of the Shadows Index to explore in-depth data on child sexual abuse across 60 countries around the world.
You can find more details about the issue in Latin America and Caribbean, in the Girls Not Brides brief on Child, early and forced marriage and unions in Latin America and Caribbean.
In the time it has taken to read this article 15 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 3 seconds