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Ask Carolyn: July 5, 2018

Carolyn Woodruff

Today’s Ask Carolyn addresses the marriage of minor children in the United States and a domestic violence situation involving parents who won’t allow their 20-year-old to move out.

Dear Carolyn,

I am concerned about an article I recently read concerning underage girls as young as 12 and 13 years old marrying older males in South Carolina. To me, this is sexual abuse. The article said that nearly 7,000 underage girls – some as young as 12 and 13 – have married in South Carolina in the past 20 years.

Is this possible? Does North Carolina allow this? If so, I want to write my legislator.

Dear Carolyn,

My age is 20. I am a girl living with my father. I have a stepfather who is in prison and he will be released in one year. I have a good relationship with both my father and my stepfather but they are overprotective. I want to move out and become independent.

A year ago, I broached the subject of moving out. My mother’s reaction and my stepfather’s reaction were insane. My mother cried and yelled that I would be unable to take care of myself. I am working and doing all the housework, except the cooking which I don’t like. She said I would not be able to pay for my rent. My mother says that her life will end if I leave her. My stepfather said if I moved out I wouldn’t get to see my mother in my life anymore. They were extremely angry.

I decided to let some time go by and told them I wanted to travel. They have calmed down and the year has passed. A few days ago my mother talked about what they were planning for our life after my stepfather’s release. I told her it would be good, but that I planned to move out after he was released…

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