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This survivor of forced child marriage is trying to change laws to prevent others from the same fate

Sasha Taylor was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and raised in Arizona. One day, in the early 1990s, she came home from school to find her family gathered and congratulating her on her upcoming wedding. Her family had arranged for 15-year-old Sasha to marry a man she never met so he could get a visa and stay in America. He was seven years older than Sasha.

The marriage was officiated in an Arizona courthouse, and, because Sasha was a minor, her husband became her legal guardian. She continued high school as a married teen and lived in a house with her husband’s family where she wasn’t allowed to leave by herself. And she was repeatedly raped by this man.

Sasha was able to escape the forced marriage, but according to the group Unchained at Last, in 44 states, girls under 18 are allowed to marry. In Arizona, the minimum age is 16.

In a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, Sasha Taylor wrote about being a third-generation child bride and her efforts to codify bans on child marriages into state law.

The Show spoke with her to learn more about her experience and her efforts to change the current laws.

NOTE: Some listeners may find the conversation upsetting.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.