December Newsletter: In the Words of Survivors

At AHA Foundation, breaking the silence about female genital mutilation (FGM), child and forced marriage, and other harmful cultural practices is at the heart of our work every day. Together, we must bring these abuses to light if we want to protect women and girls at risk and uproot these acts of gender-based violence. This fight is only possible because of brave survivors and your support.
This month, Nevaeh and Shagufa are the brave survivors whose stories we share.
Nevaeh had a childhood no kid should ever have to endure. From a very young age, she was held captive by those who called themselves her parents, and they subjected her to “ritual abuse” and female genital mutilation. Her suffering was extreme and her triumph over it will leave you in awe of the strength of her spirit. By sharing her story, her hope is “to be a voice for others like me, so that these survivors know they are not alone, and that there is help and hope.” You can read her story here.
As a teenager in Afghanistan, Shagufa was forced into a marriage with a man nearly twice her age. After a year, she found a way to escape and was determined to continue her education. In our blog with her this month, she explains how a passion for education and golf—a sport she found by chance—helped her leave her forced marriage and forge a new path in life.
FGM, child and forced marriage, and honor violence are often uncomfortable issues to bring up and discuss. Many choose to turn a blind eye, but not you. If you can, please consider us in your year-end giving so that we can continue to amplify the voices and stories of brave women and girls like Shagufa and Navaeh.
Right now, vulnerable women and girls’ needs are great. Since the pandemic struck, messages to our crisis text line have tripled, showing the dangers that lockdowns have presented to at-risk girls. The STOP FGM Act of 2020 still lingers in the Senate Judiciary Committee, leaving thousands of girls unprotected. Please contact your senator to ask them to pass this bill without delay.
Your gift can make a difference. And if you donate now, your gift will be doubled thanks to the generosity of our donors who provided matching funds for this holiday season.
I am deeply thankful for the contributions we already received. Thank you for continuing to stand with us to break the silence and protect those at risk!
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Founder

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