While sharing her story with New York Times, a women stated that she was forced to marry a man who raped her, when she was 11-year-old.

Sherry Johnson, told the American newspaper that she was raped by both a both a minister and a parishioner at her conservative Pentecostal church.

Ms. Johnson further shared that when child welfare authorities started to investigate, her family and church authorities married her with 20-year-old perpetrator to avoid the criminal case.

“It was forced on me,” she said. “My mom asked me if I wanted to get married, and I said, ‘I don’t know, what is marriage, how do I act like a wife?’ She said, ‘Well, I guess you’re just going to get married.’”

Now an adult, Ms Johnson says life with her rapist husband was "terrible." She missed out on school, and became pregnant many more times, giving birth to nine children.

“You can’t get a job, you can’t get a car, you can’t get a license, you can’t sign a lease,” she says, “so why allow someone to marry when they’re still so young?”

She is now taking part in a campaign to end to practice of child marriage, which continues to take place in several US states.

Campaign group Unchained at Last estimates that 248,000 children got married in the US between 2000 and 2010 - 85 per cent of them girls. Of those, 77 per cent married adult men.