Child Abuse, Incest and Underage Marriage
New York’s Law
Are you under 18 and resisting pressure from your family, community or others to get married? Are you worried that you or a friend may be coerced or forced into marriage?
According to New York State law, as of July 20, 2017, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 17 to get married in the state. Seventeen-year-olds require parental consent and judicial review, and they are entitled to a court-appointed attorney who has received training on forced marriage.
Learn about New York State’s law protecting minors here.
New York now has the strongest law in the nation to protect women, girls and boys from being coerced or forced into marriage. The following resources help women and girls or boys from all communities, cultures, and religions who are facing or are trapped in a coerced marriage. Sometimes, young people 18 or older are also pressured to marry. If you need help, please reach out regardless of your age.
Learn about NOW’s work to end child marriage:
- We Just Banned Child Marriage in New York- See official press release here.
- See NOW’s call to action to end child marriage in New York here.
NYS Child Abuse Hotline (800-342-3720)
Call to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment.
Statewide Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (800-342-3720)
Report suspected child abuse.
Unchained At Last (908.481.HOPE)
Unchained At Last assists women and girls from all over the country who are facing forced marriage. Unchained provides free legal representation to obtain a contested divorce, a restraining order, and immigration services to secure legal status. Additionally, Unchained supplies vital services to promote financial and emotional independence, including: career counseling, financial coaching, help locating shelters, therapy services, transportation and accompaniment to court appearances, as well as international rescue missions for victims taken overseas. Unchained also offers a unique mentoring program that matches women from similar backgrounds who provide emotional support for victims of coerced marriage.
- (212.349.6009) x221 – counseling and shelter services
- (212.349.6009) x246 – legal services; please leave a voicemail message
Sanctuary for Families is dedicated to serving victims of sexual violence – including forced marriage for women and girls. Sanctuary’s services include counseling for women and children, legal representation, shelter, and career readiness. Sanctuary is New York City based and provides services in nine locations throughout the city, including their Manhattan Office as well as the Brooklyn, Queens, and Bronx Family Justice Centers.
DYCD Youth Connect (800.246.4646)
16 to 24 year old “Listeners” who are trained and supervised by adult professionals to provide anonymous information and support to callers. Listeners assist callers in many types of situations: from youth-in-crisis, to family conflicts and relationship problems, to helping locate after-school and recreation programs in their neighborhoods.
Child Abuse Hotline (800.342.3720)
24 hours/7 days (English & Spanish).
Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline (1.800.422.4453)
Get advice and information on options 24/7. Free and confidential.
Parental Helpline/Crisis Nursery Program (212.472.8555)
Respite care (3 days maximum) for young children at risk of abuse or neglect for whom there is a probability they can return home upon discharge. Crisis intervention, advocacy and community referrals for preventive/supportive services for families who decline admission of children to nursery facility.
The Park Slope Safe Homes Project (718.499.2151)
Get help hotline. Provides both shelter and non-shelter services, including individual counseling and safety planning, criminal justice and legal advocacy and referrals, and support groups for battered women in English and Spanish.
ChildHelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline (1.800.422.4453)
Not for reporting the abuse, but for information on options. Free, confidential.
New York Center for Children (212-517-30123) 33 East 70th Street
A child-friendly Center, providing free, comprehensive evaluation and therapy services to victims of child abuse and their families. NYCC also offers professional training on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of child abuse. All of the programs and services at NYCC are completely free of charge. NYCC is a not-for-profit organization that relies on donations to cover the costs of operations. NYCC serves all families, including those without insurance.
Children’s Safety Projects – (212.242.4140) ext 237
Offers child abuse prevention and treatment services.
Jacobi Medical Center: Family Advocacy Center (718-918-4183) 1400 Pelham Parkway South, Building 1, Suite A
For those under 18 years. Provides forensic interviewing and forensic sexual assault examinations. Spanish spoken and interpreting service available.
Queens Family Court Children’s Center (718-262-0202) 151-20 Jamaica Avenue, 2nd Floor
Services available in Spanish. For children under the age of 18.
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