Dear AHA Foundation Supporter,
Across our country parents are wrapping up summer activities and preparing for the start of the new school year. As I look for school supplies for my son, I wonder how different my child’s and my life would have been if I had not escaped the marriage my father tried to force me into.
Did you know that an estimated 1,500 individuals – mostly girls and women – are forced into marriages each year in the US? They are often robbed of an education and sentenced to a life of servitude and rape. And yet, this horrific practice is not banned. Are we helping girls at risk and survivors of forced marriage by criminalizing this practice? Read our arguments for the criminalization of forced marriage here. Then let us know what you think.
Children are also forced into marriages. Research focused on New Jersey marriage records uncovered that children as young as 13 have been legally married off over the past 20 years. Dressed in wedding veils, the AHA Foundation staff joined a protest against child marriage earlier this month at New Jersey’s Penn Station. But you don’t have to travel or don a veil to help. Find out in this article how the law allows child marriages and what you can do to stop it.
A former Chief UK prosecutor has spent most of his career spearheading programs and initiatives that fight honor violence. In an interview with us, he explains why criminalization of forced marriage is paramount and how it protects girls in the UK.
We welcome your suggestions for what to include in upcoming newsletters – please send them to [email protected]. If you have a minute – invite your friends to join our movement against honor violence by forwarding this newsletter to them. The more voices we have, the more successful we will be in bringing about positive change.
With gratitude for your support,
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Founder, The AHA Foundation