Dear AHA Foundation Supporter,
“There is a cost when you put your face to something,” shared Khadija Gbla, a survivor of FGM, whose interview we feature in this newsletter. I know intimately about this cost.
Each survivor of honor violence who steps forward to share her experience has to weigh the risk of becoming known as the face of the dangerous practice she survived. And before becoming a dissenting voice, a voice that demands an end to that practice, she has to weigh on how her life will be changed afterwards. Such decisions are never easy.
A survivor chooses to tell her story because she hopes it will alert other girls of danger and create change. Her story has power to protect and save lives. To fully realise this power, survivors need your help. You can amplify their message: read their stories, share them, take action. Together, we are the movement to end honor violence.
Survivors whose stories we feature this month live in the UK and Australia, reminding us that the fight to end honor violence does not know borders.
Khadija Gbla is a force-of-nature advocate in Australia who has captured audiences around the world with her Ted Talk. Read her message to other survivors, health care professionals and her unapologetic stand on FGM as a child abuse that has no place in any culture.
Rubie Marie was living the life of a successful model in the UK when she saw what she thought could have been her mirror image – a Facebook post about a model who took her own life due to forced marriage trauma. The post was a wake-up call and urged Rubie to share publicly about the forced marriage that almost ended her life. Read Miss Galaxy International Queen’s story of survival – you’ll be inspired!
As a survivor of honor violence, I continue to tell my own story. Last month I was honored to share it during a discussion at InHer Circle, an organization from California that brings forward complex issues impacting girls and women around the world. Catch up with my insights here.
Do you know somebody at risk from honor violence or professionals who work with people at risk? Our newly released Know Your Rights brochure offers guidance on how to seek help and protection if you are at risk. Please share the brochure and help us reach more people.
I hope you will renew your commitment and support our life-saving programs in 2016. Your gift can make twice the impact through the AHA Foundation Challenge.
With deep gratitude,
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Founder, The AHA Foundation