During the summer months, while many families take vacations or usher their children off to camp, thousands of girls here in the U.S. are being sent overseas for what’s sold to them as a “rite of passage.” According to the AHA Foundation, up to 228,000 girls and women in the U.S. are vulnerable to what’s called “vacation cutting,” when parents send their daughters to stay with their families abroad and to endure female genital mutilation (FGM). Even more women living here have been victims as children. Before immigrating to the U.S., they were subjected to the abuse that affects 125 million females worldwide.
But there’s no way to know how many women are victims of this practice because they make themselves invisible.
“We have a culture of silence,” says Jaha Dukureh, who is leading a campaign to pressure Washington to create legislation that would mandate FGM education and…
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