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The International Violence

Against Women Act


(I-VAWA)
Action Toolkit
Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls
Globally
20!-20"
Table o# Contents
) $ackgro%nd on I-VAWA &age !
2) 're(%ently Asked )%estions &age *
!) Take Action #or I-VAWA
-+nline actions &age ,
--end an email action to yo%r net.orks &age /
--ocial media strategy &age 0
-1aking calls to yo%r 1embers o# Congress &age 0
--am&le cos&onsor letter to 1embers o# Congress &age
--am&le thank yo% letter to 1embers o# Congress &age 2
--am&le blog &ost &age !
--am&le o&inion editorial &age "
--am&le letter to the editor &age *
") Thank 2o% #or Taking Action #or I-VAWA3 &age 4
2
$ackgro%nd on I-VAWA 20!
An estimated one out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during
her lifetimewith 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 socalled
!honor "illings.# 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, $%V&A%'( and violent conflict. %t devastates the
lives of millions of women and girlsin peacetime and in conflictand "nows no national or cultural barriers.
)ost importantly, it must end.
%n August of 20*2, the +.(. government released its first ever U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to
Gender Based Violence (Strategy). ,he (trategy is largely derived from and has long been a core component
of the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act .%VA-A/ and its release is a historic and unprecedented
effort by the +nited (tates to address violence against women and girls globally.
%n 20*020*1, the %VA-A will direct the +.(. government to implement its (trategy to reduce violence against
women and girls in at least five countries where it is severe. 2nhanced data collection and transparency of
results is a core component of the bill that ensures accountability and the continued use of best practices. ,he
%VA-A recogni3es that violence intersects with nearly every facet of women4s lives and therefore supports
health programs and survivor services, encourages legal accountability and a change of public attitudes,
promotes access to economic opportunity pro5ects and education, and addresses violence against women and
girls in humanitarian situations. ,he %VA-A also emphasi3es support and capacitybuilding for local women4s
organi3ations already wor"ing to stop violence against women and girls.
,he %VA-A ma"es ending violence against women and girls a top diplomatic priority. %t permanently
authori3es the 6ffice of 7lobal -omen4s %ssues in the (tate 'epartment as well as the position of the
Ambassadorat8arge for 7lobal -omen4s %ssues, who is responsible for coordinating activities, policies,
programs, and funding relating to gender integration and women4s empowerment internationally, this includes
those intended to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.
)ore specifically, the %VA-A would do the following9
Increase 5egal and 6%dicial 7rotection to Address Violence Against Women and Girls8
,he %VA-A focuses on establishing and supporting laws and legal structures that help prevent and
appropriately respond to all forms of violence against women and girls. 2mphasis is placed on promoting
political, legal, and institutional reforms that recogni3e violence against women and girls as a crime and train
police and the 5udiciary to hold violators accountable and to respond to the needs of victims. ,his includes
helping women and girls access the 5ustice sector and ensuring that they are safe and supported throughout
the legal process.
0
Increase 9ealth -ector Ca&acity to Address Violence Against Women and Girls8
,he %VA-A will integrate programs to address violence against women and girls into already existing
health programs focused on child survival, women4s health, and $%V&A%'( prevention, care, and
treatment. %t ta"es a holistic !systems# approach and emphasi3es enhancing the capacity of the health
sector to assess the impact of violence on a woman and girl4s health and help her protect herself from
violence.
Change -ocial :orms to End Violence Against Women and Girls8
,he %VA-A focuses on preventing violence by changing community norms and attitudes about the
acceptability of violence against women and girls. %t will support public awareness programs to change
attitudes that condone and at times encourage violence against women and girls, and will emphasi3e
communitybased solutions. :or instance, activities supported by the %VA-A could include programs that
organi3e women and girls who are survivors of violence to spea" out publicly or wor" with male leaders to help
other men and boys become more supportive of respectful and nonviolent relationships.

Increase Women;s Economic +&&ort%nity and Ed%cation8
,he %VA-A focuses on reducing women and girls4 vulnerability to violence by improving their economic status
and educational opportunities. 2mphasis is placed on ensuring women4s access to 5ob training and
employment opportunities and increasing their right to own land and property. ,his would allow them to
potentially support themselves and their children. ,he legislation also addresses the rights of women and girls
to wor" and go to school free of sexual coercion and assault.
1
World Health Organization
;
're(%ently Asked )%estions
8 What is the International Violence Against Women Act<
,he %nternational Violence Against -omen Act .%VA-A/ is a piece of legislation that was introduced in the
**0
th
, ***
th
, **2
th
, and now in the **0
th
<ongress that represents an unprecedented commitment by the +nited
(tates 7overnment .+(7/ to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls globally. %t would, for
the first time, codify a comprehensive approach by the +.(. to fight violence against women and girls
internationally. %VA-A directs the +(7 to create and implement a comprehensive, multisectoral ;year
strategy .such as the +.(. (trategy to =revent and >espond to 7enderbased Violence 7lobally/ to reduce
violence in at least five low to middleincome countries that have severe levels of violence against women and
girls.
28 What e=actly do yo% mean by >iolence against .omen
and girls<
,he +nited ?ations (ecretary 7eneral defines violence against
women and girls as9 !any act of genderbased violence against
women or girls committed because of their gender that results
in, or is li"ely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological
harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts,
coercion, or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring
in public or private life.# ,his means that the violence could
occur in the family .battering, sexual abuse of female children
in the household, dowryrelated violence/, within the general
community .rape, sexual abuse in school or at wor", forced
prostitution, female genital mutilation&cutting and other
traditional practices harmful to women/, or it could be
perpetrated or condoned by state agents.
!8 Is >iolence against .omen and girls a ma?or &roblem<
Violence against women is a worldwide human rights violation
and a public health epidemic that "nows no cultural, national or
ethnic boundaries. ,he +? 'evelopment :und for -omen
estimates that an estimated one out of every three women in
the world will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused
in her lifetime. %n some countries, close to 70 percent of women report such violence. 6ne World
Health Organization
billion women and girls are affected by such violence, including rape, domestic violence, acid burning, dowry
deaths, socalled honor "illings, human traffic"ing, female genital mutilation&cutting and other harmful practices.
%n times of conflict mass rape is often used as a weapon of war.
"8 9o. .as the I-VAWA created<
,he %VA-A was initiated by a coalition of nongovernmental organi3ations led by :utures -ithout Violence,
-omen ,hrive -orldwide and Amnesty %nternational +(A, in 200; to increase +(7 efforts to prevent and
respond to violence against women and girls internationally. %t is the result of extensive research on what
wor"s9 it was drafted in consultation with more than *;0 groups including +.(.based ?76s and 10 women4s
groups across the globe. %n 2007 the coalition consulted with Vice =resident .then (enator/ @oseph Aiden .'
'2/, (enator >ichard 8ugar .>%?/ and >epresentative $oward Aerman .'<A/ who originally introduced the
legislation in the **0th <ongress.
*8 9o. .ill &assing this legislation hel& .omen<
B
%n many cases local women4s organi3ations who have been wor"ing for years to assist women and girls
affected by violence in their countries will finally get the help they deserve. =rogrammatic support and capacity
building will focus on both prevention, such as economic opportunity programs and public education
campaigns to change attitudes, and intervention, such as health care for women who have been raped and
who may become infected with $%V&A%'(. -omen and girls globally will also benefit from increased +.(. and
world diplomatic attention as the problem of violence against women and girls moves from an invisible private
suffering to a public issue that governments wor" to solve.
48 What abo%t men and boys<
,he legislation in no way prevents help or support from going to end violence against men and boys. >ather,
the %VA-A recogni3es the desperate ineCuality that is still experienced by most of the world4s women and
girls and the violence that contributes to and results from that ineCuality. %n much of the world, women and girls
may still be raped and beaten with impunity and can be sold or given away to men. ,hey can be "illed for
disobedience or appearing in public with a man who is not a relative or simply for being born a girl. )any
cannot vote, own property or have any rights to their own children. %t is this extreme level of violence and
abuse women and girls experience simply because of their gender that the legislation see"s to address.
:urthermore, the bill cites engaging men and boys as a "ey programmatic area to prevent genderbased
violence. )en and boys should be seen as allies and not enemies.
,8 9o. .ill I-VAWA a##ect @8-8 #oreign &olicy<
:or the first time, +.(. diplomatic wor" will address this problem in a coordinated, integrated way. %n August of
20*2, =resident Aarac" 6bama released the +.(. (trategy to =revent and >espond to 7enderAased Violence
7lobally via an 2xecutive 6rder. ,he (trategy was largely modeled after the comprehensive approach outlined
in %VA-A. %VA-A now see"s to codify the (trategy, to ensure effective and efficient programming,
accountability, as well as monitoring and evaluation of genderbased violence initiatives.
/8 Isn;t this the @nited -tates trying to im&ose its c%lt%re on other nations<
,he %VA-A does not try to impose the cultural morals of the +nited (tates on other countriesD rather, it see"s
to support the wor" of local %ndigenous women and communities who have long been advocating for an end to
the violence and abuse experienced by women and girls. %n addition, it recogni3es that much of +.(. efforts to
help countries address problems such as $%V&A%'(, maternal mortality, poverty and conflict are aided by
addressing violence against women and girls. %n fact, these other efforts will only be successful if concurrent
efforts to support women4s education and empowerment are also ta"ing place.
08 What is the di##erence bet.een I-VAWA and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)<
,he Violence Against -omen Act .VA-A/ is a domestic criminal 5ustice and social services law that addresses
violence against women within the +nited (tates. ,he %VA-A is a piece of pending legislation to address
violence against women and girls around the world by reCuiring that +.(. government agencies that engage in
foreign assistance wor" overseas ta"e all possible steps in their programming to prevent and respond to
genderbased violence and to be coordinated in these efforts. -hile both bills focus on preventing violence,
supporting survivors and bringing perpetrators to 5ustice, the way they go about achieving those aims are very
different.
08 9o. is >iolence against .omen and girls related to h%man tra##icking<
,raffic"ing of persons is a global human rights problem. Victims are traffic"ed into a range of forced labor
situations including farm wor", sweatshops, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation. Violence against
women and girls is one of the underlying issues that contribute to people4s vulnerability to being traffic"ed, and
many women face violence as they are traffic"ed. $owever, many victims of human traffic"ing are men and
boys traffic"ed for forced labor, so traffic"ing is distinct from violence against women and girls. %n addition, the
+nited (tates already has legislation to address human traffic"ing. ,he ,raffic"ing Victims =rotect Act was
passed in 2000 and has been reauthori3ed since then to combat all forms of human traffic"ing.
7
Take Action #or I-VAWA3
Auilding awareness about the %VA-A4s introduction is critical to building significant <ongressional support and
ultimately to the bill4s passage, as well as overall public education on violence against women and girls
globally.
Aelow is a list of online actions lin"s from organi3ations in the <oalition to 2nd Violence Against -omen and
7irls 7lobally that you can clic" to ta"e action for the %VA-A.
=lease ta"e action and share the below lin"s to your networ"s via email and through social media. (ample
email text and social media posts are on the following pages. And of course, feel free to utili3e any of the
messaging to create your own online actionE
www.aiusa.org&ivawa
www.futureswithoutviolence.org&section&ivawa
www.womenthrive.org&ivawathan"s
:oteA ,o find out who your member of <ongress is, go to
http9&&www.congress.org&congressorg&dbC&officials&
World Health Organization
F
-end an Email Action to 2o%r 5ists
:rom9 GH6+> 6>7A?%IA,%6?4( (%7?2>J, GH6+> 6>7A?%IA,%6?J
(ub5ect9 GH6+> 6>7A?%IA,%6?4( (+A@2<, 8%?2J
'ear GfirstnameJ,
2xciting newsE
+.(. >epresentative @an (cha"ows"y has 5ust reintroduced the %nternational Violence Against
-omen Act .%VA-A/ and (enate action is anticipated in the coming wee"sE %VA-A is legislation
that will support ontheground efforts around the world to reduce violence against women and girls.
7lease take a moment to ask yo%r 1embers o# Congress to s%&&ort this im&ortant bill Binsert
online action linkC 8
,he numbers are staggering9
+pwards of 70 percent of women in some countries will experience violence in their lifetimes.
2ach year, around 0 million girls and womenor some F,000 girls each dayface the ris" of
female genital mutilation or cutting. An estimated *00 million to *10 million girls and women
have already undergone the practice.
%n some countries, as many as 00 percent of women report that their first sexual experience
was coerced or forced. ,he younger a woman was at the time of sexual initiation, the higher
the chance that it was violent.
'ort%natelyD yo% and I can hel& make the .orld sa#er #or .omen and girls8
,he %nternational Violence Against -omen Act would provide essential support for proven strategies
to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. And it would bolster the efforts of
women and men around the world who are wor"ing to reduce genderbased violence in their
communities.
Take action no. Binsert online action linkC and hel& s%&&ort &assage o# the International
Violence Against Women Act8
7enderbased violence is a global problem, but you and % can play a special role in ma"ing the world
a safer place for women and girls. 7lease take action no.8
-ith 7ratitude,
GH6+> 6>7A?%IA,%6?4( (%7?2>J
-ocial 1edia -trategy
K
Aelow are some guidelines and sample messages for :aceboo" and ,witter. =lease feel free to change
according to your own issues and audience9 %ndividuali3ed
messages do wor" better.
,o accompany your social media content, you are welcome to use
the %VA-A graphic to the right. ,he graphic can be downloaded
here9 http:b it.ly/190tQrG .
'acebookA
-am&le '$ &osts (to &ost on organiEational or &ersonal
&ages)A
Violence devastates the lives of millions of women and girls
in peacetime and in conflictand "nows no national or
cultural barriers. G%4m & -e4reJ encouraging )embers of
<ongress to cosponsor and support the %nternational
Violence Against -omen Act, 5oin Gus & meJE GA,,A<$ %VA-A 7>A=$%<J
'o your (enators and >epresentative support the %nternational Violence Against -omen ActL @oin Gme
& usJ in showing your support by sending your representatives a message on their :aceboo" page,
urging them to support women and girls across the worldE GA,,A<$ %VA-A 7>A=$%<J
-am&le '$ message (to &ost on Congress&erson;s &age)A
-orldwide, millions of women and girls are sub5ect to violence simply because of their gender. ,his is
not only a gross violation of human rights, but is a threat to global health and economies around the
world. <osponsor and support the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act .%VA-A/ todayE
GA,,A<$ %VA-A 7>A=$%<J
8iving free from violence is a human right. =lease support the %nternational Violence Against -omen
Act .%VA-A/ GA,,A<$ %VA-A 7>A=$%<J
,he time is now to end violence against women and girls globally. =lease be a leader in this movement
and cosponsor the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act .%VA-A/ GA,,A<$ %VA-A 7>A=$%<J
T.itterA =lease use the hashtag FIVAWA.
-am&le T.itter messagesA
,he time is now to end M7AVE 2ncourage your >eps to support women and girls across the globe with M%VA-AE
Glin" to online actionJ
=ls >,E 2veryone deserves a life free of Mviolence. ,ell <ongress to act now and support M%VA-A Glin" to online
actionJ
=rotect A88 women and girls from MviolenceE NG%?(2>, (2?A,6>&>2=J support M%VA-A today9
http9&&bit.ly&**Onwl) M-omens>ights
.NG%?(2>, (2?A,6>&>2=J % support the rights of women and girls globally, do youL (upport M%VA-A today9
Glin" to online actionJ
,han"s to NG%?(2>, (2?A,6>&>2=J for Ghis&herJ leadership and hard wor" to end Mgenderbasedviolence.
M%VA-A
-orldwide, *;7*P of women aged *; 1K reported physical&sexual violence by an intimate partner at some pt in
their lives. M%VA-A
An estimated ;,000 adolescent girls and women are "illed by family members in the name of honor every year.
(upport M%VA-AE =ls >,.
-omen and girls who experience Mgenderbasedviolence can be agents of change with support. M%VA-A
*0
1aking Calls to 2o%r 1embers o# Congress
7lease %se the belo. sam&le scri&ts to call yo%r -enators and yo%r
Ge&resentati>e and ask them to cos&onsor I-VAWA today3
2o% can reach the Ca&itol -.itchboard at 202822"8!2
*./ ,elephone calls are usually ta"en by a staff member. As" to spea" with the aide who
handles women4s issues or foreign affairs issues.
2./ After identifying yourself as a constituent, tell the staffer that you would li"e to leave a brief
message.
H7lease tell Ge&resentati>eI-enator JJJJJJJJJJJJ that I s%&&ort the International Violence
Against Women Act8K
0./ As" for the position of your )ember of <ongress on the bill. %f they are a cosponsor, than"
them for their support and urge them to help pass %VA-A in 20*1.
1./ %f they are not a cosponsor, you can say9
H7lease %rge the Ge&resentati>eI-enator JJJJJJJJJJJJ to cos&onsor the bill and hel& &ass
IVAWA in 20!8K
;./ And add9
HI s%&&ort the bill beca%seA
Violence against .omen and girls is a h%man rights >iolation occ%rring globally8
An estimated one in e>ery three .omen globally has been beatenD coerced into se=D or
other.ise ab%sed in her li#etime8
The International Violence Against Women Act s%&&orts meas%res to &re>ent >iolenceD
&rotect s%r>i>ors and bring &er&etrators to ?%stice8
Hou can and should reCuest a written response to your telephone call.
**
-am&le 5etter to 1embers o# CongressA 7lease Cos&onsor I-VAWA
Please feel free to utilize the folloing sa!ple letters to "e!bers of #ongress$ blog post$
opinion editorial and letter to the editor as%ritten O& use the te't as e'a!ples to (raft your
on indi)idualized )ersions that fit your issues and audien(e.
-am&le 5etter to 1embers o# Congress (Cos&onsor I-VAWA)
,he $onorable G:irst ?ameJ G8ast ?ameJQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ
G%nsert the 6ffice Address of your )ember of <ongress here R find it at
http9&&www.usa.gov&<ontact&2lected.shtmlJ
'ear (enator&>epresentative Glast nameJ,
I am .riting to %rge yo% to co-s&onsor the International Violence Against Women Act (I-
VAWA) in 20!8
,he widespread prevalence of genderbased violence around the globe is atrocious. >ates of
violence reach up to 70 percent in some countries. 2very day, women and girls around the world are
forced to trade sex for food or school fees. 2very day, women and girls are beaten and abused. ,he
list goes on and on.
Adding insult to in5ury, all too often these violent crimes are not prosecuted and, worse still, they
become socially accepted and tolerated. Violence against women is a global health crisis and human
rights violation that contributes to instability and insecurity throughout our world.
,he American public is behind ending violence against women. A 200K poll found that B* percent of
voters across demographic and political lines thought global violence against women should be one
of the top international priorities for the +.(. government, and F2 percent supported the %VA-A.
I am asking yo%D -enatorIGe&resentati>e B5A-T :A1ECD to stand %& #or .omen and girls and
hel& &ass the International Violence Against Women Act8
,his bill supports innovative, costeffective programs that have been shown to decrease acts of
violence. )any of these programs help women and girls do things we so often ta"e for granted9 go to
school, earn an income to help sustain families, collect food or water without fear of rape or
harassment, and bring perpetrators of abuse to 5ustice. ,he %VA-A will also streamline and improve
existing +.(. programs to end violence against women increasing the efficiency and effectiveness
of our international assistance.
,he %nternational Violence Against -omen Act provides the +nited (tates with a critical opportunity
to ma"e a real difference. ,he world4s women and girls need this legislation.
=rotecting and empowering women is a moral imperative and 5ust smart foreign policy. =lease help
change the lives of millions of women and girls by co-s&onsoring I-VAWA8
Hours sincerely,
(2o%r name and address)
*2
LL+r ask other gro%& members and constit%ents to add their names and address to one
letter8LL
-am&le Thank 2o% 5etter to 1embers o# Congress
,he $onorable G:irst ?ameJ G8ast ?ameJ
G%nsert the 6ffice Address of your )ember of <ongress here R find it at
http9&&www.usa.gov&<ontact&2lected.shtmlJ
'ear (enator&>epresentative G8ast ?ameJ,
I am .riting to thank yo% #or demonstrating yo%r commitment to ending ab%ses against
.omen and girls globally by co-s&onsoring the International Violence Against Women Act (I-
VAWA)8
-hen implemented, this important piece of legislation will help put an end to the fear and suffering
experienced by hundreds of millions of women and girls. All too often, genderbased violence goes
unaddressed. <rimes regularly are not prosecuted and, worse still, they become socially accepted
and tolerated.
Hour support for ending genderbased violence worldwide is wonderful. Thank yo% #or taking a
stand by co-s&onsoring a bill that .ill sho. the .orld that the @nited -tates re#%ses to tolerate
>iolence against .omen and girls any.here8
As you "now, the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act supports innovative, cost effective
programs to help victims, hold perpetrators accountable, and prevent violence. -e are grateful to you
for supporting such a comprehensive piece of legislation that will have a significant impact on ending
violence against women and girls globally.
We look #or.ard to yo%r contin%ed s%&&ort o# I-VAWA3
Hours sincerely,
(2o%r name and address)
LL+r ask other gro%& members and constit%ents to add their names and address to one
letter8LL
*0
-am&le $log 7ost
9el& -to& Violence Against Women World.ide
Ay GHour ?ameJ
2very day, women and girls around the world are sub5ect to physical and sexual violence. 7enderbased
violence "nows no physical or cultural boundaries, occurring in times of war and peace and in every single
country around the world. (hoc"ingly, rates are as high as 70P in some countries.
$%t this is a &roblem .ith a sol%tion8
,he +.(. government has a critical role to play in preventing and ending genderbased violence worldwide.
And )embers of <ongress have a uniCue opportunity in this important effort.
=assing the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act .%VA-A/ is one of the best ways the +.(. can help.
,his new bill R introduced by >epresentative @an (cha"ows"y .'%8/ and soon to be introduced in the (enate,
represents a crucial step in stic"ing up for and empowering women and girls worldwide.
,he %nternational Violence Against -omen Act .%VA-A/ integrates violence prevention and response into
+.(. foreign policy and supports proven programs that can reduce violence against women and girls.
6n any given day, horrifying news stories about such violence appears across the news9
,he systematic rape of women in the 'emocratic >epublic of <ongo.
%ncreasing assaults on the women and girls standing up for their rights in Afghanistan.
Violence against women and girls in $aiti whose lives are already devastated by the earthCua"e.
(adly, the list could go on for days. ,hese horrific instances of genderbased violence are not isolated to a few
women in a few places they are 5ust the stories that ma"e headlines.
%ncidents of violence against women internationally can seem distant and incomprehensible. Aut the women
affected share many of the same dreams and aspirations as our sisters, our daughters, our friends and lovers,
and our neighbors.
Violence ta"es the lives of millions of women and girls, and denies countless others their dignity and the
chance to live safe, productive lives. And, in a world where tensions and violence within communities can
5eopardi3e national and international security, it is vital that the +nited (tates ta"e action.
We cannot t%rn a.ay8 -e must end atrocities committed against women and girls in their homes and in their
communities, during times of peace and times of conflict.
,he +nited (tates <ongress can help address these horrifying abuses. 8awma"ers should move Cuic"ly to
pass %VA-A and signal the +nited (tates4 commitment to stopping violence against women and girls
worldwide.
Hou, your family, and your neighbors now can let lawma"ers "now you want more to be done to address
violence against women globally8 And yo% can do it right no.8
*1
8et your )ember of <ongress "now that ending violence against women and girls is important to you. (end a
message urging him or her to pass the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act.
-am&le +&inion Editorial
A Great -te& 'or.ard to -to& the E&idemic o# Violence Against Women and Girls
The International Violence Against Woen Act !o"ld #or the #irst tie place gender$%ased violence at the center o# the
U.S. #oreign policy and international aid agenda. The &oalition to 'nd Violence Against Woen and Girls Glo%ally is
p"shing &ongress to reintrod"ce and pass this vital legislation in ()*+.
Around the world, with sic"ening freCuency we hear about another instance of violence against a girl or woman. A five
yearold is raped in %ndia. A girl is shot in the head in =a"istan on her way to school. ,wenty six women are sexually
assaulted by police in (an (alvador Atenco, )exico. A women4s rights advocate in Afghanistan is murdered in the street.
Violence against women and girls is one of the world4s most pervasive human rights abuses and a tremendous and costly
problem. ,he +nited ?ations estimates that one in every three women will experience violence at some point in her life
with rates reaching up to 70P in some countries. -omen and girls fall prey to sex traffic"ers, are attac"ed as they attend
school, endure brutality in the home, or are raped in conflict 3ones.
:rom Afghanistan and )exico to %ndia and 2gypt, violence against women destabili3es families and communities, bloc"s
economic progress, and undermines women4s efforts to create better lives for themselves and their families.
,he terrible conseCuences of this epidemic of violence rob countries of the contributions and talent of half their
populations. Violence ta"es the lives of millions of women and girls, and denies countless others their dignity and their
right to live safe, productive lives. ?o country is immune. Violence crosses all national borders and affects women of all
ages, social groups, religions, and economic, racial and ethnic groups.
<onsider !<onnie# from ?icaragua, whose father physically abused her for years, then started raping her from age nine,
sometimes preventing her from going to school. %f passed, the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act .%VA-A/ would
ma"e genderbased violence prevention and response a lens through which +.(. government foreign aid is evaluated with
the goal of using aid to respond to and ultimately reduce levels of violence. (o, for example, health care providers would
be trained to recogni3e signs of violence and "now how to lend support to girls li"e <onnie. %t would mean, as another
example, that the +.(. Agency for %nternational 'evelopment would assist in putting protections in place to ensure that
girls can go to school safely. And, it would mean resources to help organi3ations that are wor"ing to change the attitudes
of men and boys about violence.
%nvesting in women ma"es sense because when women and girls thrive, societies are more li"ely to prosper, reduce rates
of $%V and A%'(, decrease child and maternal mortality, and increase participatory and democratic governmentsR all of
which ma"es +.(. assistance dollars go farther. +.(. security R and the security of all countries is only enhanced when
the status of women is elevated. (o addressing violence against women is crucial to global development and stability,
and by extension, to +.(. security.
-or"ing through the international assistance that the +.(. already provides to countries around the world, this bill will
support best practices against violence so that authorities can bring perpetrators to 5ustice and women and girls can go to
school, earn an income, and collect food or water without fear of rape.
8ast year, the +.(. government too" a step to help millions of women and girls by releasing its first ever +.(. (trategy to
=revent and >espond to 7enderAased Violence 7lobally. ,his comprehensive strategy improves existing aid programs
with the goal of helping to prevent and reduce violence against women. ,his effort must be sustained through passage of
the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act. % as" Gyour )ember of <ongress J to support the bill and as" Ghis and her J
colleagues to do the same.
*;
(upporting the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act is in the +nited (tates4 interests as well as being the right thing
to do. -e must all ma"e our voices heard. ,ell lawma"ers to do more to stop violence against women and girls across the
globe.
-am&le 5etter to the Editor
,o the 2ditor9
:rom Afghanistan and )exico to %ndia and 2gypt, violence against women and girls is one of the
world4s most pervasive human rights abuses and a tremendous and costly problem9 it destabili3es
families and communities, bloc"s economic progress, and impedes one out of three women
worldwide from creating better lives for themselves and their families.
8ast year, the +.(. government too" a "ey step to support millions of women and girls by releasing its
first ever +.(. (trategy to =revent and >espond to 7enderAased Violence 7lobally. ,his
comprehensive strategy improves existing foreign assistance programs with the goal of helping to
prevent, reduce and ultimately end violence against women.
,his effort must be sustained through passage of the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act .%
VA-A/, a bill that will ma"e existing efforts to stop violence against women more integrated, effective
and efficient, placing women at the center of +.(. diplomatic efforts where % believe it belongs.
% as" Gyour )ember of <ongress here J to support the bill and as" Ghis or her J colleagues to do the
same.
Violence against women and girls is a pervasive human rights crisis that demands a strong response.
% as" Gyour )ember of <ongress here J to do 5ust that and support this effort.
,ae
To!n- State and a##iliation
*B
Thank 2o% #or Taking Action #or I-VAWA3
As members and supporters of the <oalition to 2nd Violence Against -omen and 7irls 7lobally, we
are committed to ending the global epidemic of violence against women and girls. ,hrough our
combined efforts, we have the chance to ma"e a difference for hundreds of millions of women and
girls worldwide who are face the threat of violence on a daily basis.
,han" you for your commitment to upholding the right of all women and girls to live free from
violence, intimidation and fear. ,han" you for all your efforts to push for strong <ongressional support
and passage of the %nternational Violence Against -omen Act.
2very action you ta"e for this critical priority ma"es a difference and on behalf of the coalition, than"
you for your support.
=lease feel free to contact the <oalition with any Cuestions, reCuests for additional information, or to
share the outcomes of your advocacy and outreach efforts.
Contact In#ormationA
6%lia MrostD Amnesty International @-AA 202-4,*-/,*/D ?drostNai%sa8org
Celia GichaD '%t%res Witho%t ViolenceA 202-*0*-,!/,D crichaN#%t%res.itho%t>iolence8org
Christine 9artD Women Thri>e World.ideA 202-000-"",4D chartN.omenthri>e8org
$en WeingrodD CAGE @-AA 202-400-4!40D b.eingrodNcare8org
*7