Dear AHA Foundation Supporter,
There’s power in a personal story. Time and again we’re reminded that no matter how shocking the facts are, there is no substitute for the voice of a woman or a girl who has the courage to speak out after living through the pain of honor violence. Thanks to these brave women, we are connected to the human side of suffering that the facts cannot express. As part of our summer series highlighting female genital mutilation, this month we bring you – in their own words – the stories of women and girls who have endured the procedure, myself included.
Another compelling way to illustrate a story is through film. Honor violence is an issue that, although it happens here with alarming frequency, is not well known or understood by most people. Because of that, films that bring from the dark this abuse that is typically hidden from public view are such important tools in raising awareness and showcasing the need to take action. In this newsletter, we share with you several films we believe do just that.
Finally, we bring you a quick roundup of the latest honor violence news from around the globe. Our favorite? The UK has just had its first conviction for forced marriage after its criminalization last year! Our hope is that this conviction and the others to follow it will serve as deterrents to individuals and families who are considering forcing their daughters into a lifetime of being trapped in a marriage they never wanted.
Though we tell you frequently how important our life-saving work is, and how crucial your partnership is in making it happen, I hope the stories we’ve shared with you this month give you a deeper understanding of the real lives touched each day by what we accomplish together.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Founder, The AHA Foundation