Thursday, July 10, 2003

Polygamist Fundamentalists and Child Abuse

Katie Allison Granju blogs about polygamous Mormons forcing young teens to enter into plural marriages with much older men. Her links are really horrific, especially those which indicate that child protective services has done nothing to help these girls, and in fact, often returns those who've run away to their parents, who then turn them back over to their "husbands." Apparently the state will prosecute these marriages when they suspect welfare fraud (those wives who are not legally married to their husbands will often file for welfare benefits for their children), but not to protect abused children. Nice.

It almost makes me think we would be better off legalizing polygamy, since it could then be scrutinized and subject to the same laws as monogamous marriages. Of course the biggest problem is that these cults (I don't think that's too strong a word) brainwash girls and women into believing that they have no choice, so very few of them will complain or try to escape. I don't know what the answer is, but surely there's something more that can be done than just shrugging and allowing young women to be brutalized in this fashion.


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