FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michigan Case: Decision on FGM sends Negative Message to Survivors and Women and Girls at Risk
Statement from There Is No Limit Foundation
There Is No Limit Foundation, a survivor-led non-profit organization and member of the US End FGM Network, is deeply concerned and alarmed by the decision of United States District Judge Bernard Friedman to dismiss charges in Michigan against the individuals—including two doctors— accused of subjecting nine girls to female genital mutilation (FGM.) We demand the appeal of this decision by the United States government in order to ensure the safety of over 500,000 women and girls at risk in the U.S.
We want to clarify that this ruling addressed Congress’ authority to pass the federal law on FGM. In addition, we are reinforcing that the current outcome does not endorse FGM; it is not a basis for carrying out this practice.
FGM continues to be a violation of human rights by global standards and a crime in many states within the U.S. This practice presents great risks to the physical and emotional well-being of women and girls. FGM has no benefits and is not a religious requirement.
This practice thrives in secrecy. Judge Friedman’s decision sends a negative message to survivors and those at risk about their rights over their bodies and their protection. It has the potential to strike fear in those willing to speak out. It also threatens the significant cross-sector impact to categorize FGM as violence and abuse against women and girls.
“This ruling shows that we, the survivors, and the millions of girls at risk are alone. We cannot give up on our rights to our bodies—we must continue this movement. Change will come and we must all break our silence and take action,” said Aissata M.B. Camara, Co-Founder of There Is No Limit Foundation in response to the ruling.
Mariama M. Camara-Petrolawicz, Co-Founder of There Is No Limit Foundation, said “The dismissal of this FGM case sends the wrong message to the world. We call on everyone to support us in demanding accountability!”
Coordinated national, local, global actions are necessary to combat FGM. There Is No Limit Foundation will continue to actively work with partners in the United States to provide community education and support to survivors. We will continue to work on ending vacation cutting by strategically linking global and national efforts.
There Is No Limit Foundation commits to ensuring the protection of human rights and the dignity of women and girls in the United States and everywhere. We call on everyone to sign our pledge to end FGM by visiting our website (breakthesilence.info). Survivors and women/girls at risk of FGM can contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
About There Is No Limit Foundation/Break The Silence: There Is No Limit Foundation is a 501(c)3 international organization founded by Guinean-American sisters Aissata M.B. Camara and Mariama Petrolawicz, both survivors of FGM. Our mission is to empower individuals in the poorest communities to reach their fullest potential and enhanced sense of dignity through economic opportunities and the eradication of barriers including poverty, inequality, and violence. We work in the United States, The Republic of Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire. Break The Silence is a campaign to mobilize people worldwide to speak up and take action to end harmful practices and violence. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is one of the greatest threats to the health, well-being, and economic prosperity of women and girls worldwide. The goal of the Break The Silence Campaign is to eradicate the practice of female genital mutilation in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).