“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

INCLUDING FGM IN THE REAUTHORIZATION OF THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT


The Violence Against Women Act
currently does not address FGM.



Bill That Can Tackle the Issue

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is up for reauthorization this year. The AHA Foundation is currently working with federal legislators to increase the federal FGM penalty from five to 15 years and to direct funding for education and outreach to communities and professionals likely to encounter survivors and at risk individuals.




Take Action

Please urge your federal legislators to include FGM in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. You can view our sample letter here, find your Senator here, and find your Representative here.


Letter sample Find Your Senator Find Your Representative

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.




Take Action

Please urge your Senators to sponsor and pass this bill without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your Senator here.


Letter sample Find Your Senator

HELP PASS LAWS TO CRIMINALIZE FGM IN YOUR STATE



23 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: [email protected]

Send Email

FGM is not a crime in 23 states shown in grey

STATE LEGISLATION


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 413
    The AHA Foundation is currently working towards the passage of HB 413, which would establish criminal penalties for performing, consenting to FGM on a child, and removing, causing, or permitting the removal of a child from the state for the purpose of FGM. The bill also provides strong criminal penalties.

  • Take Action

    Pennsylvania 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


MARYLAND RESIDENTS:
HELP STRENGTHEN FGM LEGISLATION IN YOUR STATE


    State FGM law in Maryland does not currently consentban taking a girl outside of the state to have her cut. Penalties for FGM in the state are also relatively weak.


  • How to Tackle the Issue

    Pass Legislation that Bans Removing Girls from the State for FGM and Increases the Penalty
    Led by Delegate Christian Miele, House Bill 0661 was introduced in 2018 to increase the penalty for FGM in the state of Maryland from up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine to 20 years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine. This bill did not pass in 2018 but has positive momentum going into the next legislative session. Adding a provision that would specifically ban taking a girl outside of the state for the procedure to this bill would immensely strengthen the existing anti-FGM provisions included as part of Maryland state law.

  • Take Action

    Maryland residents, please urge your senators to ake action without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Legislators here.

Letter sample Find Your Legislators

STATE LEGISLATION


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 413
    The AHA Foundation is currently working towards the passage of HB 413, which would establish criminal penalties for performing, consenting to FGM on a child, and removing, causing, or permitting the removal of a child from the state for the purpose of FGM. The bill also provides strong criminal penalties.

  • Take Action

    Pennsylvania 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



MARYLAND RESIDENTS:
HELP STRENGTHEN FGM LEGISLATION IN YOUR STATE


    State FGM law in Maryland does not currently consentban taking a girl outside of the state to have her cut. Penalties for FGM in the state are also relatively weak.


  • How to Tackle the Issue

    Pass Legislation that Bans Removing Girls from the State for FGM and Increases the Penalty
    Led by Delegate Christian Miele, House Bill 0661 was introduced in 2018 to increase the penalty for FGM in the state of Maryland from up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine to 20 years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine. This bill did not pass in 2018 but has positive momentum going into the next legislative session. Adding a provision that would specifically ban taking a girl outside of the state for the procedure to this bill would immensely strengthen the existing anti-FGM provisions included as part of Maryland state law.

  • Take Action

    Maryland residents, please urge your senators to ake action without delay. You can view our sample letter here and find your State Legislators here.

Letter sample Find Your Legislators

PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS:
HELP STOP CHILD MARRIAGE IN YOUR STATE

Gaps in Pennsylvania state law make child marriage possible.

Children ages 16 and 17 can marry with parental consent, and children aged 15 and younger in Pennsylvania can marry with approval from a judge and parental consent. 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

Pennsylvania HB 2542
HB 2542 eliminates exceptions to the marriage age, and reserves marriage, a serious legal contract, for those who have reached the age of majority.



Take Action

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

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 honor violence.



YOUR VOICE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

“Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali