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Tahirih Justice Center
Profiles of Courage: Your Summer 2016 Newsletter

Fauziya KassindjaIf courage had an anniversary, it would be Fauziya's. 

At the age of 17, Fauziya fled the only home she had ever known in West Africa to seek asylum in the United States. She was fleeing a forced marriage to a man with three wives and a procedure that would bring her lifelong pain and potentially kill her — female genital mutilation/cutting. Fauziya barely made it out alive.

On June 13, 1996, after a difficult legal battle and nearly two years in immigration detention, Fauziya finally found safety and was able to rebuild her life free from violence. The highest immigration court in the United States had granted her asylum. Fauziya's victory set national precedent and established gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum. 

Tragically, 20 years after Fauziya's victory, worldwide displacement because of war, persecution, and conflict is at an all-time high. And women and children are bearing the brunt of the consequences. Now, more than ever, we need your help to make a difference for these courageous survivors of violence like Fauziya.

In response to the overwhelming need, we launched the most ambitious campaign in our history to serve 250% more women and girls. Learn more about our $10M Ready to Soar Expansion Campaign in this newsletter!

Because when #SheSoars, #WeSoar.


Introducing Our Expansion Campaign to Protect  250% More Women and Girls

Read Our Ready to Soar Case StatementBecause of generous supporters like you, Tahirih has served over 19,000 survivors fleeing unthinkable violence. Yet, heartbreakingly, we can only protect 1 in 4 women who reach out to us for help. That's why we are excited to announce our Ready to Soar Expansion Campaign to protect 250% more courageous women and girls. We need your help to raise $10 million to double the reach of our lifesaving programs and expand our offices to a total of five cities. Your partnership will help transform lives, laws, and communities. Learn more

Spike in Gender-Based Violence Leads to Unprecedented Demand for Services

Record Spike in Asylum CasesCentral America has become one of the most dangerous regions in the world to be a woman. As a result, Tahirih has seen a dramatic increase in our asylum caseload. In 2015, we provided asylum legal assistance to 217 women and girls from Central America — a 135% increase from 2014. Thank you for standing with us as we rise to meet the needs of these heroic women and girls who have survived gang-related sexual assault, rape, and human trafficking. Learn more

How Your Support Is Fueling the Campaign to End Family Detention 

DetentionTwenty years ago, Fauziya Kassindja spent nearly two years in maximum-security immigration detention centers. Her crime? Refusing to be a victim of violence. Unfortunately, in the decades since Fauziya won asylum and was released from detention, more heroes like her have been imprisoned. In 2014, the Obama Administration dramatically expanded the practice of jailing refugee women and children seeking protection at U.S. borders. Most recently, county commissioners in San Diego authorized negotiations with the Department of Homeland Security to open a new family detention center in California. With your support, Tahirih continues to be at the forefront of the national campaign to end this inhumane practice. See how your support has brought women and children detained in jail-like facilities closer to freedom. Learn more

What's on Your Summer Reading List? 

Do They Hear You When You CryThis summer, as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Fauziya Kassindja's victory, Tahirih invites you to read, “Do They Hear You When You Cry,” an unforgettable memoir that chronicles Fauziya's awe-inspiring journey to justice. Booklist raves that it's "a fast-paced, can’t-put-it-down book — shocking, heartbreaking, and inspiring.” And don’t stop by simply adding this incredible book to your summer reading list! Invite your friends to read the book with you. Instead of book club membership fees, ask your book club members to make a donation to help protect more heroic women and girls like Fauziya. Learn more.

Your Birthday Can Transform the Life of a Woman or Girl 

Party with PurposeThree women or girls will be able to receive lifesaving legal and social services for one year because a mother dedicated her birthday to Tahirih. Homa threw a birthday party for herself, but, in lieu of gifts, she asked her friends and family to make a donation to Tahirih. She raised more than $15,000! This year, you too can help a woman  or girl in need rebuild her life free of violence while celebrating your milestone. Did your birthday already pass? No worries! You can select any date that is important to you. Weddings, holidays, graduations — there are so many reasons to party with purpose! Learn more


Who decides if you are too young to marry

Eastnine Inc./ZZVE Illustrations/Getty Images

  • NPR highlighted Tahirih-drafted legislation that is sparking conversation about child marriage in the United States.

  • The Christian Science Monitor profiled Tahirih Houston Director Anne Chandler on her tireless commitment to courageous immigrant women and girls who are survivors of gender-based violence.

  • The Houston Press spoke with Tahirih Senior Staff Attorney Samantha Del Bosque about the acute and growing immigration court backlog in Houston.



Marcela Aguilar Fierro

"To all of the heroic women out there, 'Tahirih does hear you when you cry.' Ineffable thanks to Mrs. Miller-Muro and Fauziya."

Marcela knows firsthand what it's like to leave behind your home and everything you know in search of a better life. That's why she has dedicated herself to volunteering with Tahirih and helping other women and girls rebuild their lives. Learn more.

Sadia Ali

"I cannot forget the smile on my client's face...With her U.S. permanent residency, she hopes to have a brighter future."

Without the pro bono efforts of attorneys like Sadia, Tahirih's work would not be possible. Sadia's zealous advocacy ensured that our client would be able to live her life in safety and with dignity. Thank you for your service! Learn more.


Morgan Weibel

Baltimore Director | Morgan Weibel

Together, we have an unprecedented opportunity to help hundreds of survivors of torture rebuild their lives. And it feels good to say we’re seizing it. Read more.

Heather Taylor

Greater DC Director | Heather Taylor

How do we make sure brave women and children fleeing violence access justice in the face of terrifying ICE raids? The time for us to act is now. Read more.

Anne Chandler

Houston Director | Anne Chandler

Why we're dedicating our 5th Annual Gala to children fleeing violence in Central America: Because these brave children deserve to be kids again. Read more.

Thank you for empowering women and girls who refuse to be victims of violence!

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