As we begin a new year, we would like to take a moment to celebrate some of our top achievements in 2014. Your support throughout the year made these accomplishments possible – thank you! We anticipate many opportunities to make an impact in the lives of immigrant women and girls in 2015, and we look forward to your continued collaboration and support.
1) We Answered 1,780 Pleas for Help from Courageous Immigrant Women and Children Fleeing Violence
Since 1997, we have assisted nearly 17,000 heroic individuals from every corner of the globe. In 2014 alone, we responded to 1,780 pleas for help from women and children fleeing violence in the United States.
2) We Provided Free Legal Representation and Advice to More Than 900 Women and Girls
In 2014, we provided free legal defense to more than 900 women and girls entitled to protection under U.S. law. Along the way, we shared their remarkable victories with community partners, advocates, lawmakers, and supporters like you. Our heroes in 2014 included women like Eva, a mother who worked with authorities to put an end to her employer’s sexual abuse, Helina, a survivor of human trafficking who reunited with her daughter after seven years of separation, and Gabrielle, a young woman who fought persecution in Cameroon.
3) We Trained 7,000+ Service Professionals
Every year, we educate thousands of frontline professionals, including attorneys, judges, police officers, healthcare staff, and social service providers. Through our extensive trainings, we create a community better equipped to respond to the unique needs of immigrant women and girls.
4) We Launched “Honoring Our Heartbeats: A Tour to End Forced Marriage in the U.S.”
Inspired by a comic book written by young survivors of violence, we launched a groundbreaking tour to raise awareness about forced marriage as it impacts girls and women in the United States. Collaborating with survivors, activists, artists, and community groups around the country, we were able to reach thousands while also training many service providers to better serve those impacted.
5) We Gained Critical Momentum to End Forced Marriage in the United States
The American Bar Association, after close collaboration with our Forced Marriage Initiative, passed a resolution to condemn forced marriage as a human rights violation. At venues, including the Girl Summit and American University, Tahirih urged government officials and other advocates to create a bold and innovative national action plan to end forced marriage in the United States.
6) We Served at the Forefront of Protecting Immigrant Women and Girls Fleeing Violence in Central America
In 2014, thousands of traumatized women and children refugees crossed the border fleeing gender-based violence, and Tahirih responded. Tahirih’s Houston staff delivered trainings to pro bono attorneys, coordinated and participated in representation, and offered specialized expertise in gender-based asylum claims. Tahirih’s Houston office also launched a special project to provide legal defense to unrepresented refugee children fleeing violence a the border. Tahirih’s Public Policy team supported these efforts by advocating for an end to prolonged detention of refugee women and children with the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.
7) We Celebrated the Victories of Our Courageous Voice Honorees at Our Annual Galas
We recognized two heroic women at our Greater DC and Houston galas for their fortitude in the face of violence. In Greater DC, we heard Mercy Cooper share her transformation from a battered spouse to an empowered advocate. And in Houston, we rejoiced in Itza’s victory as she worked with Houston authorities to put her rapist behind bars. We look forward to seeing you at our next gala! With your help, we can top last year’s successes and answer more pleas for help from women and girls!< 8) We Obtained Thousands of Signatures on Our Petition to End Forced Marriage in the U.S.
As many as 1,500 cases of forced marriage are encountered every year in the United States. In 2014, Tahirih created an online petition to call on President Obama to create a national action plan to protect individuals at risk of forced marriage and survivors of forced marriage in the U.S. If you haven’t already, make a New Year’s resolution to join our movement and sign our petition!
9) We Increased Public Awareness of Issues Facing Immigrant Women and Girls Through National Media Coverage
We brought national attention to our work and our courageous clients with appearances in more than 40 media stories. For example, Tahirih was featured in Al Jazeera America, The Wall Street Journal, The Houston Chronicle, and The Huffington Post. Tahirih staff were also interviewed by reporters from ABC7, ABC13, and Radio Islam.
10) We Were Named Finalists in National Social Impact Exchange Competition
Tahirih was recognized as one of the best positioned non-profits for growth by being chosen as one of the three finalists, out of 60 organizations, in the last round of the 2014 Social Impact Exchange Business Plan Competition. This prestigious competition recognized Tahirih’s effectiveness, efficiency, and tested plans for replication and national growth.