“Silence is an accomplice to injustice.”Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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.
STOPPING ABUSIVE FEMALE EXPLOITATION (SAFE) ACT: INCREASE THE FEDERAL PENALTY FOR FGM
The federal penalty for FGM is currently only 5 years.
Bill That Can Tackle the Issue
H.R. 3317: Stopping Abusive Female Exploitation (SAFE) Act The AHA Foundation is currently working with federal legislators to increase the federal FGM penalty from five to 15 years.
Amanda Parker, Senior Director and George Zarubin, Executive Director of the AHA Foundation at Representative Dave Trott's office
HELP PASS LAWS TO CRIMINALIZE FGM IN YOUR STATE
24 states still do not have laws criminalizing FGM.
Bill That Can Tackle the IssueModel State FGM Legislation If passed, this legislation will require a state to criminalize FGM.
Take ActionUrge 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: [email protected]
FGM is not a crime in 24 states shown in grey
MASSACHUSSETS RESIDENTS: HELP CRIMINALIZE FGM IN YOUR STATE
Bill That Can Tackle the IssueMassachusetts Senate Bill S. 788 and Massachusetts House Bill H. 2333 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 ActionMassachusetts 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.
There is currently no state law in Massachusetts that specifically outlaws FGM.
FLORIDA RESIDENTS: HELP END CHILD MARRIAGE IN YOUR STATE
Bill That Can Tackle the IssueThe AHA Foundation is currently working with the Florida Working Group to End Child Marriage to get Representative Daisy Baez's bill, HB 71, passed, which would end child marriage, with no exceptions. Also, Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and Majority Leader Wilton Simpson, have introduced similar legislation in the Senate with SB 140.
Take ActionFlorida residents, please urge your State Senator's and Representatives to pass legislation that would end child marriage in your state, with no exceptions. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Elected Official here.
There is currently no brightline minimum age of marriage in Florida.
MINNESOTA RESIDENTS: HELP STRENGTHEN FGM LEGISLATION IN YOUR STATE
Bill That Can Tackle the IssueState Senate Version of Minnesota House Bill HF 2621 Led by Representative Mary Franson, the Minnesota House overwhelmingly passed House Bill HF 2621, legislation that would make it a criminal offense for a parent or guardian to consent to or knowingly allow for a girl to undergo FGM. It would further protect children in Minnesota by allowing for peace officers to remove a child from the home if they are found to be at risk of or have undergone FGM. Social services would then take immediate action, including an assessment of the risk to any other children within the family. It’s now up to the Minnesota State Senate to take action to close this dangerous loophole.
Take ActionMinnesota residents, please urge your senators to pass this bill without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Senators here.
State FGM law in Minnesota does not currently include penalties for parents/guardians who consent to having their daughters cut.
TEXAS RESIDENTS:HELP STRENGTHEN FGM LEGISLATION IN YOUR STATE
Bill That Can Tackle the IssueTexas House Bill to Criminalize FGM State Senator Jane Nelson has passed legislation in the Senate that would make it a criminal offense for a parent or guardian to consent to or knowingly allow for a girl to undergo FGM. It will now move to the Texas House of Representatives for review.
Take ActionTexas residents, please urge your representatives to pass legislation to penalize parents/guardians who consent to having their daughters cut without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Representatives here.
State FGM law in Texas does not currently include penalties for parents/guardians who consent to having their daughters cut.
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 IssueNew 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.