Virginia Senator Shows His Continued Work against FGM

If you are an advocate against the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), and you reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you should know the name, Richard H. Black.  Two years ago in 2017 Senator Richard H. Black introduced Senate Bill 1060 to his colleagues in the Virginia General Assembly.  SB1060 was passed and signed to criminalize FGM in the Commonwealth of Virginia, making Virginia the 25th U.S. State with laws against FGM.  However Senator Black was not content with the misdemeanor law, which made Virginia the only state in the U.S. with a misdemeanor penalty against FGM.  All other states’ laws were felonies.  Therefore a year later in 2018, he introduced another bill, Senate Bill 47 for an amendment to SB1060.  SB47 was to amend the Virginia FGM law from a misdemeanor to a class 2 felony.  There again, Senator Black was successful in getting SB47 unanimously passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Virginia Governor.  As a result, Virginia now possesses one of the most stringent FGM laws in the U.S., with 20 years to life and up to $100,000 in fines.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation (GWPF) worked with the Senator by testifying twice before Virginia Senate Committees last year.

Now it has been a year since that stringent law was passed in Virginia; and Senator Richard Black has yet again introduced a third FGM bill to the Virginia Senate.  This time it has nothing to do with the criminalization of FGM; it has to do with education.  Senate Bill 1159 was pre-filed on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 and offered a week later on January 9th.  SB1159 proposes an amendment to the § 22.1-207.1:1 of the Code of Virginia relating to public schools, family life education and female genital mutilation.  SB1159 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health and Education.  The Sub-Committee voted on and unanimously passed SB1159 this past Wednesday.  Of course the Bill will face additional committees for hearings and votes before it finally reaches the Governor’s desk, if it stays alive on the floor each time.  GWPF has once again been asked, and is honored to work with Senator Black by testifying before the committees to help get SB1159 passed.

The Education Bill summarizes that any family life education curriculum offered in any elementary school, middle school, or high school to incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the harmful physical and emotional effects of female genital mutilation, associated criminal penalties, and the rights of the victim including any civil action.

Here is how the proposed amendment reads.  Notice the italicized text in Section C, where the actual amendment is cited:

A. Any family life education curriculum offered by a local school division shall require the Standards of Learning objectives related to dating violence and the characteristics of abusive relationships to be taught at least once in middle school and at least twice in high school, as described in the Board of Education’s family life education guidelines.

B. Any high school family life education curriculum offered by a local school division shall incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the prevention of dating violence, domestic abuse, sexual harassment, including sexual harassment using electronic means, and sexual violence and may incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the law and meaning of consent. Such age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the prevention of sexual violence may include instruction that increases student awareness of the fact that consent is required before sexual activity.

C. Any family life education curriculum offered in any elementary school, middle school, or high school shall incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on (i) the importance of the personal privacy and personal boundaries of other individuals and tools for a student to use to ensure that he respects the personal privacy and personal boundaries of other individuals and (ii) the harmful physical and emotional effects of female genital mutilation; associated criminal penalties; and the rights of the victim, including any civil action pursuant to § 8.01-42.5.

D. Any family life education curriculum offered by a local school division may incorporate age-appropriate elements of effective and evidence-based programs on the prevention, recognition, and awareness of child abduction, child abuse, child sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse.

When SB1159 is successfully passed and signed into law, the Commonwealth of Virginia will be the first U.S. state to have enacted such a FGM law.  Senator Black will still not rest on that enactment.  Speaking with Global Woman Newsletter last week, the Senator said that he wants to see FGM educational public service announcements on radio and television in his state.  Senator Black is not just a lawmaker; he is an advocate against the practice of female genital mutilation.  He said he sincerely cares about the little girls that are at risk of FGM, and the young survivors of it.  He himself has 7 granddaughters, and he thinks of them when he hears about what the girls endure during FGM.  He believes that education is the most effective mean of ending the practice of FGM.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Richard Black has served the Commonwealth of Virginia since 1998 when he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates until 2006.  Elected to the Virginia Senate in 2011, he has represented the 13th Senate District since 2012, encompassing parts of both Loudoun and Prince William Counties.  Senator Black formally announced early in the year that he will not seek reelection when his Senate term is over at the end of 2019.  While his constituents in the 13th District will miss him, Senator Black will be missed by those in the FGM community whose lives he has touched since 2017.

Senator Black freely shared his experiences as a United States Marine with Global Woman Newsletter.  He enlisted in the Marines in 1963, and by the age of 21, he rose to second lieutenant and was among the Marines’ youngest aircraft carrier-qualified pilots. He flew 269 combat helicopter missions in Vietnam. Ground fire struck his aircraft on four different occasions.  Black also engaged in bitter ground combat with the 1st Marine Regiment. His radiomen were killed and he was wounded during an attack against enemy positions across the Hoi An River.  He was the only member of the Virginia General Assembly at the time, who held the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in battle.  He graduated with honors from the School of Business in 1973 and earned a law degree in 1976. He practiced law in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, before accepting a commission as a Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG).  He headed the Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, and developed Executive Orders for the President’s signature, and laws that were enacted by Congress. Black advised senior government officials on issues of national significance, and testified before the U.S. Congress, representing the U.S. Army, on four occasions.

Although Virginians hate to see him permanently leave office, they will agree that Richard Black has well-served, not only Virginia but his country as well.  Stay tuned for updates on SB1159, which could make history this year.           

Comments and questions to or call (703) 818-3787

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Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation’s 2019 Calendar


  • Walk To End FGM Registration Launch – Friday, January 18th 
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, January 19th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance – Wednesday, February 6th   
  • SNMA Students FGM Advocacy Workshop – Sunday, February 10th 
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, February 16th
  • Arlington Police receives FGM Training Presentation – Tuesday, March 5th
  • United Nations CSW63 – March 11th – 22nd
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, March 16th
  • GWPF 1st Quarter Board Meeting – Saturday, March 30th
  • Women’s History Jazz Program – Saturday, April 6th
  • FGM Presentation to Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) – Sunday, April 14th
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, April 20th
  • First Shipment of Feminine Pads to Sierra Leone – May
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, May 18th
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, June 15th
  • GWPF 2nd Quarter Board Meeting – Saturday, June 29th
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, July 20th
  • Support Group / Vacances Sans Excision Camp – Saturday, August 17th
  • Support Group Workshop – Saturday, September 14th
  • GWPF 3rd Quarter Board Meeting – Saturday, September 28th
  • Global Woman Awards – Friday, October 18th
  • Walk To End FGM – Saturday, October 19th
  • Thanksgiving Feast / Support Group – Saturday, November 16th
  • GWPF Year-End Board Meeting – Saturday, December 7th

We will update this 2019 calendar as schedules come in

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Weekly Word-Scramble

Do you enjoy playing with words?  This is a fun way to see how well you can unscramble the following words.  We will reveal the unscrambled words in next week’s edition of the newsletter.  If you enjoyed this, write and give us your feedback to

Can you unscramble the following five words?

This Week’s Scrambled Words






Last Week’s Scrambled Words                                  Last Week’s Unscrambled Words

HCURB ASIL                                                               LISA BRUCH

PIHSRALOHCS                                                          SCHOLARSHIP

DLIHC ESUBA DAUQS                                             CHILD ABUSE SQUAD

HCNUAL                                                                      LAUNCH

YRAUNAJ POHSKROW                                            JANUARY WORKSHOP

We give you five scrambled words each week.  We hope you enjoy playing.

How You Can Help & Support Us

Here are some of the ways you can help and support our programs in 2018: 

  • Donations (including in-kind donations)
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Important Contacts in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to Keep Handy

Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation               703-818-3787

National Child Abuse Hotline                              800-422-4453

Fairfax County Office for Women                       703-324-5730

Virginia Crime Victim Assistance                        888-887-3418

Montgomery County Abused Persons Program   240-777-4673 (24 hours)

Prince Georges County Sexual Assault                301-618-3154

Prince Georges County Child Advocacy Center  301-909-2089

Baltimore City Child Abuse Center                     410-396-6147

Frederick County Child Advocacy Center           301-600-1758

Howard County Listening Place                           410-313-2630

Washington County Child Advocacy Center       240-420-4308

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police            202-727-9099

Alexandria Victim/Witness Program                    703-746-4100

Arlington County Victim/Witness Program         703-228-7273

Loudon County Victim Witness Program            703-777-0417

Prince William County Victim/Witness               703-392-7083

Attention: The U.S. government opposes FGM, no matter the type, degree, or severity, and no matter what the motivation for performing it. The U.S. government considers FGM to be a serious human rights abuse, gender-based violence, and, when done to children, a form of child abuse. It is against the law to perform FGM in the United States on a girl under the age of 18 or to send or attempt to send her outside the United States so FGM can be performed. People who violate this law can face prison time and significant immigration consequences. Additionally, anyone who performs FGM on a woman 18 years old or older without her consent may be charged with a crime under other laws.  If someone performed FGM on you, you have not violated any U.S. laws and are not at fault, call 1-800-994-9662.