Florida child marriage bill passes all Senate committees

After a 10News story about a girl who was forced to marry her rapist, state lawmakers are moving to ban child marriages.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida Senate Rules Committee unanimously passed a bill to end child marriage in Florida.

SB 140 has now passed all three Senate committees (Judiciary/Children, Families, and Elder Affairs/Rules) without a single opposing vote.

Sherry Johnson, a Tampa native has been the face of this movement. 10News reporter Liz Crawford introduced you to Sherry and shared her heartbreaking story in June.

More: Florida lawmakers file bill to ban child marriage

Johnson was raped repeatedly as a young girl. She became pregnant and had a baby when she was ten years old. The adults in her life thought it was best she just marry her rapist who was closely connected to Johnson's family through their church.

According to an advocacy group called Unchained At Last, more than 14,000 minors got married in Florida from 2000 to 2010.

Now that Senate Bill 140 has passed through all committees, the entire Senate will vote on the bill as early as next week. The companion bill, House Bill 335 still has another committee to go through.

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