More than 15 million girls and women in India were married as children.
That's more than 15 million girls who are robbed of their childhood and, too often, trapped in a cycle of poverty and violence.
This is Asha*'s story, told in her own words.
Watch Asha's story as an animated video (available in English and Hindi).
Every year, 12 million girls like Asha marry before the age of 18.
Child brides like Asha are more likely to suffer from physical, sexual and emotional violence.
We won't end violence against children as long as girls are married off as children.
Girls Not Brides member Srijan Foundation strives to build a better world for women and children. Based in Jharkhand, India, they campaign and deliver services to empower women and girls.
*Name changed to protect her identity
Illustrations: Surasti Puri / Girls Not Brides
Child marriage and violence against children
Find out more about the links between child marriage and violence against children through the Girls Not Brides brief ‘Child Marriage: A form of Violence Against Children’ and use the Out of the Shadows Index to explore in-depth data on child sexual abuse across 60 countries around the world.
In the time it has taken to read this article 12 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 2 seconds
Girls Not Brides
Ettie is Communications Associate at Girls Not Brides: the Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.