“Silence is an accomplice to injustice.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
AHA1
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Founder of The AHA Foundation

The AHA Foundation advocates to expand and strengthen federal and state laws in the US that help protect women and girls from female genital mutilation (FGM), honor violence, forced marriage and other issues that impact the well-being and threaten lives of women and girls.


You can help us by lending your voice to our advocacy campaigns.

FEDERAL LEGISLATION


STOP FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM) IN THE US

    Despite federal law banning FGM in the US, including “vacation cuttings”, hundreds of thousands of girls and women face the threat of FGM.


  • Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

    The Zero Tolerance for FGM Act of 2015 (H.R. 783)
    If passed, this legislation would require the US to conduct a national study on the prevalence of FGM and develop a multi-agency strategy to prevent and respond to FGM in the US. Such a strategy could establish important tools such as a national hotline for girls seeking assistance and resources for teachers, healthcare workers and law enforcement.

  • Take Action

    Contact your Representative today to urge him/her to cosponsor H.R.783 and support the legislation when it comes to a vote.

Find Your United States Congress Members: Senators and Representatives


HELP PREVENT VIOLENCE
AGAINST WOMEN GLOBALLY

    Living in constant threat from harmful traditional practices, FGM, honor violence and child marriage, is a reality for women and girls in immigrant communities in the US.


  • Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

    The International Violence Against Women Act (H.R.1340 and S.713)
    If passed, this legislation would require the US to establish a multi-agency strategy to respond to and prevent violence against women and girls globally, including FGM and child marriage. Efforts to end gender-based violence abroad help to end harmful traditional practices that put girls from immigrant communities in the US at risk, such as FGM and forced/child marriage.

  • Take Action

    Contact your Senators and Representative today to urge them to cosponsor the International Violence Against Women Act and support the legislation when it comes to a vote.
Find Your United States Congress Members: Senators and Representatives
image
AHA Foundation former Executive Director Stephanie Baric, speaks out against forced marriage at a rally in Union Square, NYC.

Laws and policies relating to honor violence, including honor violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, play a critical role in preventing and responding to honor violence.





YOUR VOICE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

STATE LEGISLATION


MASSACHUSSETS RESIDENTS: HELP CRIMINALIZE FGM IN YOUR STATE


    There is currently no state law in Massachusetts that specifically outlaws FGM.


  • Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

    Massachusetts Senate Bill SD1466 and Massachusetts House Bill HD2873
    The AHA Foundation is currently advising and providing support to the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association Task Force to Ban Female Genital Mutilation on their bill to criminalize FGM. The legislation was filed in January of 2017.

  • Take Action

    Massachusetts residents, please urge your representatives to co-sponsor and pass this bill without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Legislators here.

Letter sample Find Your Legislators


PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS:
HELP CRIMINALIZE FGM IN YOUR STATE


    There is currently no state law in Pennsylvania that specifically outlaws FGM.


  • Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

    Pennsylvania House Bill H.B. 135
    State Representative Thomas Murt has reintroduced legislation in the Pennsylvania House to ban FGM in the state. The AHA Foundation thanks Representative Murt for his continued leadership on this issue.


  • Take Action

    Pennsylvania residents, please urge your State Senator and State Representative to pass this bill without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Legislators here.

Letter sample Find Your Legislators

NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS:
HELP STOP CHILD MARRIAGE IN YOUR STATE

Gaps in New Jersey state law make child marriage possible.

Children ages 16 and 17 can marry with parental consent, and children aged 15 or younger can marry with judicial approval. Within the current legal framework, there is no minimum age below which a judge can no longer approve a marriage, nor are there any criteria that a marriage involving a minor below the age of 15 must meet to be eligible for judicial approval. Furthermore, judges have the power to approve marriages with spousal age differences constituting statutory rape. There is no mechanism in place to ensure that the required parental consent is not in fact parental coercion.



Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

New Jersey Assembly Bill 3091
A3091 eliminates exceptions to the marriage age, and reserves marriage, a serious legal contract, for those who have reached the age of majority.



Take Action

New Jersey residents, please urge your State Senator and State Representative to pass this bill without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Legislators  here. In addition to emailing, we urge you to Tweet at and call your legislators.


Letter sample Find Your Legislators

advocacy
Amanda Parker, Interim Executive Director of the AHA Foundation, protests child and forced marriage at New Jersey's Penn Station in July 2016.
Photo by Susan Landmann




Between 1995 and 2012, 3,498 children were married in New Jersey.


Of these children, 177 were between ages 12 and 15, and 91 percent of the children were married to adults, often at ages or with age differences that are considered statutory rape.



HELP PASS LAWS TO CRIMINALIZE FGM IN YOUR STATE


26 states still do not have laws criminalizing FGM.


Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

Model State FGM Legislation If passed, this legislation will require a state to criminalize FGM.

Take Action

Urge your state legislature to pass the AHA Foundation’s model FGM state legislation. To find out how you can help our efforts to pass legislation in all 50 states, email: policy@theahafoundation.org

Send Email


FGM is not a crime in 26 states shown in grey

“Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali