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Top 6: April 5th 2023

Unchained At Last: Unseen Housewives

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Top 6: April 5th 2023
Child marriage, marriage before the age of 18, is a human rights violation that remains widespread around the world—but most Americans are unaware that it is a significant issue in the United States. Child marriage remains legal in 43 states, and was legal in all 50 until 2018. It is estimated that nearly 300,000 underage girls were married in the U.S. since 2000, with 86% marrying adult men. To make the population finally take notice of this national crisis, Unchained At Last, the only organization dedicated to ending forced and child marriage in the U.S. through direct services and advocacy, and AREA 23, an IPG Health company, translated their message into a form that Americans can’t seem to turn away from: reality television. Together, they launched UNSEEN HOUSEWIVES. UNSEEN HOUSEWIVES is a fake reality show based on the real stories of child-marriage survivors. Child actors recreate the true experiences of survivors, set against the familiar tropes, direction, drama, and marketing of reality TV. The closing line subverts the classic adage, “This show must NOT go on.” The trailer for UNSEEN HOUSEWIVES premiered at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women for both live and online attendees, alongside the same survivors whose stories are featured in the film. The video subsequently was released online, and supported through a social campaign, where the child bride “housewives” become influencers, sharing their stories, and driving awareness among their teenage peers in the remaining 43 states where child marriage is still legal. serves as a hub of resources for advocacy and information.

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