GWPF Support Group Convenes in 2019

This past Saturday afternoon, the Support Group of Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation hosted its first workshop of 2019.  The leaders of the Support Group had expected a couple of new members, but certainly not the number of new members they received last Saturday.  Additional chairs were brought in as women and girls continued to fill the room.  To a packed conference room, the guest facilitator, Detective Caitlin O’Malley of the Fairfax County Police Department delivered an impressively detailed presentation.  Detective O’Malley is with the Major Crimes Bureau and Child Abuse Squad.

O’Malley quickly established the correlation between the familiar child abuse and female genital mutilation (FGM).  She told the attentive group of women and girls that still too many people have not heard of FGM.  The Detective mentioned that she was a part of the group of detectives and officers in the audience when Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation conducted FGM training to the Fairfax County Police Department last year.  She shared child abuse stories with the group which she has seen in her work.  She said, “Majority of child abuse cases are committed by people known to the victims.”  It is usually a grandfather, an uncle, the father, a teacher, a coach or a friend of the family. 

With such information, one might wonder who then can be trusted with the child.  The Detective explained that parents should refrain from forcing their children to give hugs to family members and friends.  She urged parents to listen to their children; if a child feels uncomfortable giving hugs to a certain family member or family friend, do not force her/him to do it.  If a child expresses dislike for a certain family member or friend, a red flag should go up in the minds of the parents.  Children tend to throw out hints to their parents, yet too often the hints either escape their parents or those hints are ignored and dismissed. 

The Detective shared one particular story about a sexual abusive stepfather.  The mother of the child told O’Malley that she had tried everything she could, including installing a lock on her daughter’s bedroom door.  She told the Detective that her daughter always seemed to fall asleep on the sofa in the living room; therefore it was her daughter’s fault that the stepfather was sexually abusing her.  This question followed that story after the floor was opened to Q&A.  “Should the mother be charged as an accomplice to sexual child abuse?”  The Detective responded that there are instances where the mother is aware of the abuse, but she does not believe the child.  Therefore in such case, the mother should be responsible for knowingly allowing the abuse to continue.  O’Malley clarified, “We do not want to separate children from their parents – we want to help remedy the problem.”

A survivor from Virginia wanted to know what would happen if a case of FGM came to attention of the police.  Detective O’Malley said it would depend on the jurisdiction.  She said there are times when laws vary from county to county in Virginia.  However when it comes to FGM in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the law does not apply to county to county; instead the FGM law in Virginia covers the entire state.  Anyone found engaging in the practice of FGM in the Commonwealth of Virginia will be prosecuted, and could face 20 years to life imprisonment, regardless of jurisdiction.  It was also explained that Virginia’s Vacation Cutting law does not only apply to taking the child overseas for the purpose of performing FGM on her.  The Vacation Cutting law in Virginia also applies to if a girl is taken across state lines, such as taking her to Maryland, the District, West Virginia or any other state in the U.S.  The group was reminded that the Virginia FGM law also allows the survivor to sue her parents when she turns 18 years of age, for having FGM done to her when she was a child.  With that knowledge, the survivors in the room were wide-eyed, and showed their approval of that clause.

Applause rang throughout the room at the end of Detective O’Malley’s presentation.  The group had enjoyed the information she had provided them.  They went away with much needed knowledge, which they did not have when they arrived at the workshop.  The Detective did such a great job that she might be invited for an encore in the future.

Being the only one of its kind, the Support Group celebrated its one year anniversary this month, since the launch of it in 2018.  The workshop was developed for women in the process of seeking relief, both emotionally and physically.  It helps provide emotional support in a group setting, and during survivor-only sessions.  During the workshops, participants share any aspect of their stories that they wish to reveal, and they are showered with unconditional care, love and support.  The group meets the 3rd Saturday of each month as they did last year.  In addition to the monthly workshop, individual support is also available, recommended, and encouraged for those survivors who are not yet ready or interested in speaking before a large group.

Some of the topics expected to be addressed in the upcoming months are Medical Health Insurance for FGM Survivors; Seeking Asylum in the U.S. as a FGM Survivor; the Importance of Physical Therapy; The Need of Restorative Surgery; and Mental Health Care.  GWPF believes that such topics are essentially beneficial to the survivors.  The organization is attempting to present topics that are in the best interest of the survivor and at-risk girls.  The group has tremendously grown within the past year. If you underwent FGM, and you require assistance, or you are aware of someone with the need to join the Support Group, contact Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation at or call (703) 832-2642.       

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

Make Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Your Favorite Charity in 2019

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In your charitable contributions and donations in 2019, please consider Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation by either through the DONATE BUTTON or by sending a check to Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation, 8280 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Suite 600, Fairfax, Virginia 22031.  Your generous donations are tax deductible.  Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. 

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


  • Walk To End FGM Registration Launch – Thursday, January 24th 
  • 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

This section is for special announcements.  If you have an announcement you would like to run in this section, please follow these guidelines.

The education toolkit – Now Available and downloadable at

The guidelines to submit an announcement to appear in this newsletter:

  • The length of announcement must be no more than a paragraph of 6 lines.
  • Your announcement is free of any charges.
  • Your announcement should be something that pertains to women, girls or students, such as events, walk-a-thons, conferences, etc.
  • If there is an accompanying image, it must be no less than 72 dpi, preferably in jpeg.
  • Your announcement must be received no later than the Thursday 5:00pm prior to the following Tuesday publication.  
  • Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation reserves the right to deny a submission if it is not within our guidelines.

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

9511BS                                                                          SB1159          

YLIMAF EFIL                                                             FAMILY LIFE

NOITACUDE                                                               EDUCATION

ROTANES KCALB                                                      SENATOR BLACK

TCIRTSID 31                                                                DISTRICT 13

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)
  • Partnering (collaborating in one of our programs and/or events)
  • Joining our Internship or Student-Ambassadorship Program 
  • Volunteering  
  • Donate through employer payroll deduction (through Your Cause, United Way or the government employee giving program)

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.