his week, the Violence Against Women Act turns 25 years old. The act was passed in 1994 with bipartisan support because lawmakers wanted the government to do more to combat violence against women, ensure those who abuse and assault women are held accountable, and address new threats. While we have certainly made progress, our work is not done.
As we mark this 25 year milestone, a new threat to young women and girls exists in communities across the United States. Female genital mutilation is happening here in the U.S. and putting American girls at risk. As defined by the World Health Organization, female genital mutilation is the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia for nonmedical reasons.
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