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“Raped at 8 and Forced to Wed at 11…” Review

The article’s narration touches on a very emotive issue in society, which I thought does not happen in Florida. It amazes me to learn that Sherry Johnson was sexually abused when was below ten, and impregnated and married off at 11. Her mother did not protect her when she required help. In other words, it can be concluded, according to the victim’s narration, she did not receive child protection from the very people she was expecting to stand with her in times of need. I thought that the law in Florida prohibits child marriages. Upon reading the article, I was shocked at how the young girl was abused while still a preteen and married off to a partner who was barely twenty (Koh, 2018).

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Reflecting on my cultural environment, I can say that society protects children at all costs. If anything, wrong is done to young persons, perpetrators are held accountable and punished according to the rules. However, what happened to Sherry concerning being raped continuously and failing to report is common even in my culture. Young females look upon their parents and guardians to protect them; however, when they realize that these persons are not willing to offer help, they give up reporting cases of abuse. The implication of giving up is akin to believing that one should be abused by adults or other children in the community (Svanemyr, Chandra-Mouli, Raj, Travers, & Sundaram, 2015).). I think that if girls are confident of being defended by social structures such as families, they can report sexual abuse cases. Consequently, the number of rape incidents can decrease not only in Florida but across the world.

Before reading the article and knowing the problems that Sherry Johnson has faced in life, I could not think of child marriages happening in Florida. Since her mother did not agree with Sherry that she was raped by a bishop with whom they worshipped together at her church, she feared and did not report to her when a church deacon sexually abused her. More shocking is the revelation that her mother’s husband also raped her on several occasions, but she stayed silent for fear of being reprimanded by her parent. The people around Johnson were expected to protect her from any form of abuse, but they are the ones who either abused her or failed to listen to her when she needed help. Johnson’s mother forced her to get married to a church deacon who impregnated her at 10 (Koh, 2018).

My cultural environment does not allow child marriages, because society views girls as minors who are sexually immature. In addition, my community appreciates girls’ education and diminish underage marriages. When a girl’s education journey is disrupted at an early age by being forced to get married, it implies that her future has been negatively impacted. A girl who is married off cannot have a standard lifestyle because of a lack of education and a stable source of income. Like the case in the article, I think many girls in my cultural environment shy away from reporting rape cases because they are uncertain of being listened to or getting help. That notwithstanding, I think the law should be altered to prohibit child marriages at any cost. Girls should be given opportunities to get an education and not be forced to marry while still minors.


  1. Koh, E. (2018). Raped at 8 and forced to wed at 11, this woman tries to end child marriage. Miami Herald, pp. C1-C8.
  2. Svanemyr, J., Chandra-Mouli, V., Raj, A., Travers, E., & Sundaram, L. (2015). Research priorities on ending child marriage and supporting married girls. Reproductive Health, 12(1), 80-89.

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