Thank You For Standing With Us
2012 was a productive year for FUTURES, and we thank the advocates, partners, survivors, and supporters who share our goal to end violence against women and children around the world. But it was also a year distinguished by gun violence with devastating repercussions, politicians who fueled political campaigns with ignorant remarks about ‘legitimate rape,’ and shocking stories about girls and women who are beaten or killed for wanting to pursue an education.
And still, we look ahead with optimism, knowing that domestic violence against U.S. adult women is down more than 50% since the Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994. We’re grateful for the Obama Administration’s ongoing commitment to women and girls both here and abroad, and we hope you’ll continue to stand with us to develop programs and policies that will help achieve futures without violence.
Among our proud achievements this year:
- Our president and Founder Esta Soler testified before Attorney General Eric Holder’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, and we remain committed to work that will reverse the adverse effects that violence has on young people. We’re proud to be technical providers on theDefending Childhood Initiative, a national program that awarded grants to eight cities, counties, and tribal communities to develop strategic plans to prevent childhood exposure to violence.
- We gathered in Washington DC to honor Melanne Verveer and Madeleine Albright with our first annual Global Impact Awards, in recognition of their outstanding work to reduce gender-based violence.
- We held our 6th National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, and celebrated the work we did to help secure the Affordable Care Act’s coverage of domestic violence screenings and counseling at no cost to patients.
- We concluded the work of the Start Strong Initiative - the first and largest investment in the prevention of teen dating violence with middle school youth. The 11 Start Strong communities from across the country implemented school curricula, innovative public education campaigns and encouraged parents to talk to their kids about healthy relationships and teen dating violence prevention over the course of their four years of work.
- We hosted our first national summit called “The Y Factor: Men Leading by Example,” that featured the work we, and others, are doing in the field to engage men such as new Coaching Boys Into Men programs in Alaska, Texas, and North Dakota, among others.
- Our hard work on behalf of women and girls both domestically and internationally has contributed to the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security as well as a U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally, both strong steps that can have a significant effect on international funding to improve the lives of women and girls. Despite the hold-up in Congress, we are committed to the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and continue to advocate on its behalf.
- We provided domestic violence education to several hundred judges through our National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence, helping them to enhance their skills and provide leadership in the community.
- We continued to build our comprehensive on-line National Workplace Resource Center to help employers and labor organizations respond to the effects of domestic and sexual violence and stalking in the workplace.
- We launched an innovative new digital library called The Communications X-Change, as well as a new website called Promising Futures, which offers best practices for serving children, youth, and parents experiencing domestic violence.
- We enlisted the participation of national celebrities for a successful social media campaign and contest called The RESPECT Challenge!, where we asked the public a simple question: “Who would you like to thank for teaching you Respect?”
It was an exciting year – and we look forward to both the rewards and challenges that 2013 will bring.