Five Myths About Forced Marriage, Child Bride Gabriella Gillespie Speaks About How She Escaped Forced Marriage, an Interview with Co-Founder of Ex-Muslims in North America, and More

September 2016 Newsletter

Dear AHA Foundation Supporter,

As summer winds down and a new school year begins, many girls are returning home from abroad after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM). To help put an end to this harmful practice and teach frontline service providers how to properly handle these cases, the AHA Foundation is proud to announce a free FGM Training Course. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, this training is now available online to everyone. Take this free course and learn how you can provide culturally-sensitive support for girls at risk and survivors of FGM here.

In a guest blog, author and advocate Gabriella Gillespie describes her remarkable escape from a forced marriage in her father’s home country of Yemen. Gabriella shows true resilience in the face of adversity as she makes this heroic escape with her five children. Read her story here, and learn about how she is now fighting to protect the rights of girls in the UK by campaigning to end child marriage.

Across the US, individuals are being coerced or forced into unwanted marriages, or sent abroad to be forced to wed there. The only way to end this horrible practice and protect the rights and freedom of women and girls is to truly understand why forced marriages happen in the first place. In our blog “Five Questions About Forced Marriage You Were Afraid To Ask,” you will learn more about the reasons behind child and forced marriage, and why some people can’t easily just say “no” or leave.

In an interview with Sarah Haider, co-founder of Ex-Muslims in North America, Sarah tells about her transition away from Islam towards atheism, and the importance of empowering fathers to support their daughters’ education and personal freedoms. Read our interview with Sarah here.

If you are a survivor of forced marriage, FGM, or honor violence and you’d like to share your story to help those who face similar abuses – please contact us at Whether a survivor or a supporter, your voice is critical in the fight against honor violence. Find a way to get involved today.



Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Founder, The AHA Foundation