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This article was originally published on July 09, 2012.

Dear friends,

It is hard to believe, but Tahirih Justice Center is now 15 years old! We hope you’ll take a moment to view our 15th Anniversary Video and celebrate with us.

Over the past decade and a half, we have been privileged to help over 14,000 immigrant women and children receive legal protection, rebuild their lives, and restore their dignity. It is because of you—an incredible community of donors, pro bono attorneys, and non-profit partners—that we are able to engage in high-impact public policy advocacy and direct legal services on behalf of women fleeing violence.

Your support breathes the life into our mission. With your help, since opening our doors in 1997, we:

  • Opened offices in three cities throughout the United States
  • Developed a network of over 1,100 pro bono attorneys from over 175 law firms who donated nearly $8 million last year in free services for our clients
  • Empowered over 630 women with the social, medical, and other resources they need to rebuild their lives
  • Conducted over 250 trainings to equip law enforcement, social service providers, clergy, community advocates, and other communities with tools and resources to protect immigrant women fleeing violence
  • Raised the profile of the courageous women we serve by appearing in over 250 media outlets including Newsweek Magazine, National Public Radio, CNN, the Washington Post, New York Times, and Fox News, among others
  • Became an established leader in the field and was recognized with 27 awards for management excellence and leadership in the fight against gender-based violence
  • Were highlighted by the Stanford Social Innovation Review for best practices in the management of our pro bono attorney network
  • Grew to a $10 million organization with over 30 staff
  • Multiplied every dollar donated into $4 of impact
  • Maintained 99% litigation success rate.

On legislative fronts, Tahirih has engaged with lawmakers in targeted public policy initiatives designed to enact new laws and strengthen existing ones to safeguard and protect women and girls fleeing violence. We brought attention to formerly hidden injustices—from the way that “mail-order bride” agencies operate to the significant, but often unnoticed, number of forced marriages that occur in the United States.

While we look back with pride at our 15 years of accomplishments, we look forward with apprehension at the looming challenge ahead to do more to serve courageous women and girls seeking justice and to make a greater impact on the laws and policy affecting their well-being. In spite of the laws that have been developed and the demands of women around the world for justice, violence against women is a profound and persistent global reality.

For women aged between 15 and 44, this violence results in more deaths and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war. Around the world, at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Some courageous women escape their circumstances and demand justice. It is these women that Tahirih is honored to serve.

Our next challenge is to grow nationally to serve more women and girls in the years ahead. To that end, we have opened offices in Houston, Texas, and in Baltimore, Maryland, in addition to the Washington, DC area. With your support we can grow further and serve more!

Please watch our 15th Anniversary Video to see Tahirih’s growth and celebrate with us. None of these victories would be possible without your support! Thank you for all you do to promote justice for women and girls.

Warmest Regards,

Layli's Signature

Layli Miller-Muro
Tahirih Founder and Executive Director