Tell the New York State Assembly: Ban Vacation Cutting

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Dear New York State Assembly Members,

I am calling on you to pass New York State’s vacation cutting bill in 2016.

Every year, at least 150,000 girls in the United States are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM). For girls in New York, this risk is especially high.

Because FGM is illegal in New York State, many of these girls will experience vacation cutting. During summer and school breaks, families will send their daughters to stay with relatives in countries where the practice is accepted. While there, the girls undergo FGM.

Says one young survivor of vacation cutting:

“When I was 16, my father told me that he had arranged for me and my little sister to travel back to Gambia, his country of origin, during our time off from school. When we arrived, my grandmother…explained that FGM would remove ‘unclean’ body parts. She warned us that if we refused to undergo FGM, the entire village would find out and force FGM upon us against our will.”

FGM has long-term, life changing consequences. Girls experience serious physical and psychological consequences, including infection, severe bleeding, PTSD, depression and even death.

No girl should ever leave for a vacation, and come back having undergone this atrocious procedure. Vacation cutting harms girls and hurts our communities.

Pass the vacation cutting bill, and make it illegal in New York State.