End Child Marriage in WA Chain-in Press Event in Olympia

Please RSVP by Dec 15th

Child marriage is an urgent problem in Washington. Dangerous legal loopholes allow parents to enter a child of ANY AGE into marriage without any input required from the child, and without any real legal recourse for a child who does not want to marry.

Some 5,048 minors as young as 13 were entered into marriage in Washington between 2000 and 2021. More than 80% were girls wed to adult men, and between 38 and 51 marriages occurred with a spousal age difference that met the definition of a sex crime.

Furthermore, child marriage creates a nightmarish legal trap that destroys nearly every aspect of an American girl’s life. There’s a reason the U.S. State Department has called marriage before 18 a “human rights abuse.”

This calls for a protest.

We at Unchained At Last urge you to Chain-In with us in Olympia on January 18. We’ll gather on the North Steps of the Washington State Capitol wearing bridal gowns and veils, with our arms chained and mouths taped, to protest forced and child marriage and urge legislators to pass SB5695/HB1455, the simple, commonsense bill that would end child marriage in Washington.

We provide the bridal gowns, veils and chains. All you need to do is register on this page – and join us to insist Washington legislators end child marriage!

Speakers include:

  • Sen. Manka Dhingra
  • Fraidy Reiss, Unchained At Last
  • Becca Powell, Unchained At Last

Ending Child Marriage in the United States

We at Unchained started and now lead a growing national movement to end child marriage in the United States by making the marriage age 18, no exceptions, in all 50 states.

Marriage before 18 can too easily be forced, because minors, even a day before their 18th birthday, have limited legal rights that make resisting or escaping an unwanted marriage nearly impossible. Further, marriage before 18 is a human rights abuse that destroys American girls’ health, education and economic opportunities and greatly increases their risk of experiencing violence.
Join the movement. Chain-In with us to demand an end to this human rights abuse.

Read more here about Chain-Ins, the powerful form of peaceful protest that we invented to raise awareness of forced and child marriage in the United States.

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Chain-In FAQs

Q: I don’t have a bridal gown and veil. What should I do?

A: No problem. Simply indicate when you register that you want us to loan you a free gown and veil, and tell us what size you are. (We have an arsenal of some 100 bridal gowns that people have donated to us for use at Chain-Ins.)

Q: I prefer not to wear bridal clothing and/or not to chain my arms or tape my mouth. May I still join the Chain-In?

A: Absolutely. The full Chain-In experience involves wearing a bridal gown and chains, but if that makes you uncomfortable, we still want you to protest with us.

Q: I do not identify as female. Should I still join and wear a bridal gown and veil?

A: Yes, please! You are encouraged to join and to wear a gown and veil regardless of your gender identity.

Q: Should I bring my own chains and tape?

A: No, we will provide free plastic chains and comfortable tape.

Q: Is this legal?

A: Yes, we have the backing of the First Amendment, and we have permission to hold this Chain-In.

Q: How much does it cost to join the Chain-In?

A: Joining the Chain-In is free – but please consider donating to help offset the cost of the Chain-In and to help us fight forced and child marriage in the U.S. through direct services and systems change.

Q: Where is the exact Chain-In location?

A: The Chain-In will take place on the north steps of the Washington State Capitol at 416 Sid Snyder Ave. SW in Olympia.

Q: What time does the Chain-In begin and end?


A: Please arrive by 11:30 a.m. PT to sign in and change into Chain-In attire. The Chain-In will begin at 12:00 p.m. and end by 12:45 p.m.

Q: Will the Chain-In proceed in case of bad weather?

A: Yes, we will Chain-In regardless of weather conditions.

Q: How else can I help end child and forced marriage?

A: Whether or not you can join the Chain-In, please take these steps:

  • Donate. Every gift makes a big difference to someone who is fleeing a forced marriage.
  • Stay updated. Follow us on Facebook, X/Twitter and Instagram, and share and like our posts.
  • Volunteer. We rely on the kindness of pro bono attorneys, psychotherapists and others.
Visit our Resource Library to find more topics and information