Let's Pass I-VAWA!

FUTURES applauds the U.S. Senate's bi-partisan re-introduction of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) lead by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). IVAWA represents a huge step forward in the U.S government's commitment to ending this global scourge so that every woman and girl can live a life free from violence and fulfill her basic human rights.

"We commend Senators from both sides of the aisle for reintroducing the International Violence Against Women Act with bipartisan support," said Esta Soler, Founder and President of Futures Without Violence. "Recent devastating events in Nigeria are a very timely reminder that violence against women and girls knows no boundaries. We must act quickly to prevent gross human rights violations-from early/forced marriage to domestic violence- and promote global stability and security."

The Senate now joins the House which re-introduced IVAWA this past November also with bipartisan support from Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) Reps. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

We commend these Members of Congress for their continued effort and dedication to end violence against women and girls globally. An estimated one out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime-with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. Violence against women and girls includes harmful practices that range from rape to domestic violence, to acid burnings and dowry deaths, and so-called "honor killings."

Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, a public health epidemic and a barrier to solving global challenges such as extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS and violent conflict. It devastates the lives of millions of women and girls-in peacetime and in conflict-and knows no national or cultural barriers. Most importantly, it must end.

IVAWA calls for a comprehensive U.S. response to end violence against women and girls globally by:

  • Directing the Department of State and USAID to continuing to implement a comprehensive multi-sectoral strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence;
  • Integrating efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls as part of U.S. foreign assistance programs including health, education, economic growth, legal reform, political participation, social norm change, humanitarian assistance, and foreign security training, among others;
  • Supporting overseas non-governmental and community-based organizations working to end violence against women and girls; and,
  • Ensuring uniform data collection and accountability measures are in place to track investments in programs that address gender-based violence.

We ask you to take action and ask your Members of Congress to support and pass IVAWA. Click here to email your Members of Congress now.

For additional information, please contact Celia Richa of Futures Without Violence at 202-595-7387 or cricha@futureswithoutviolence.org.