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This article was originally published in The Daily Beast on September 14, 2011. You can access the original article here: www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/14/women-in-the-world-foundation-launch-with-meryl-streep-leymah-gbowee.html.

Do something! That’s what the courageous women activists and leaders urged at the launch of the Women in the World Foundation in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Layli Miller-Muro, founder of the Tahirih Justice Center, which offers pro bono legal advice to victims of gender-based violence, told guests of the summit that the problem of violence against women and girls is pervasive and almost entirely unacknowledged in America.

What’s worse, she’s found that no legal protection exists for the thousands of children forced into marriage—the practice is not even illegal. She says the United Kingdom is “light-years ahead” of the United States on legally protecting children from being married off against their will. Read the full story here.