Dear AHA Foundation Supporter,
As children across the country enjoy autumn and cheerily prepare for Halloween, a disturbing statistic about children as young as 10 marrying older spouses in the US has hit the headlines. In Child Marriage in the US, Stephanie Baric, our Executive Director, responds to an op-ed about child brides and discusses the tragic consequences of child marriage to both the child herself and to the world around her.
Although the problem may be facing new scrutiny today, forcing women and girls into unwanted marriages is sadly not a new phenomenon in the US. Hila, a courageous woman who, along with her sister, fled her family fifteen years ago to avoid a forced marriage, shares her story with us this month. It’s impossible not to be impressed by Hila; when she found no available help to prevent a forced marriage and then flee from her family, she and her sister figured out how to do it on their own.
In the News brings recent accounts of honor violence in the US and from around the world, from an op-ed which shares the shocking statistics about minors married in New Jersey, to a German teen who was murdered by her father in an honor killing for shoplifting condoms.
I know you’re as outraged as I am by what you’ve read. If you haven’t already signed our petition, which demands a national action plan to address these issues in the US, the time is now.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Founder, The AHA Foundation