International Violence Against Women Act

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Ask your members of Congress to cosponsor and pass I-VAWA.

Urge Your Member of Congress to Support the International Violence Against Women Act

Violence against women is a horrific and pervasive human rights crisis that demands our response. Far too many women and girls around the world fall prey to traffickers, are attacked as they attend school, endure violence in the home, or are raped as a weapon of war.  At least one out of every three women globally will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime—with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. 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 conflict.

U.S. Senate re-introduced a bi-partisan International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) lead by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), on November 14th, 2017.  IVAWA takes a multifaceted approach to violence against women, and employs many strategies that are already in place.

  • Establishes a clear Global Strategy on how to combat violence and calls for collaboration with other agencies, governments, and organizations
  • Makes the Office of Global Women’s Issues a permanent fixture in the State Department, with the purpose of directing the US’s foreign policy approach in relation to gender
  • Develops Country Plans which will be comprehensive, individualized accounts that explain what violence women face and how that violence will be addressed in each country
  • Regularly reports and briefs Congress about violence against women and the US’s efforts to prevent it

Please urge your Members of Congress to pass IVAWA today!

LETTER TEMPLATE

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

(Not sure who your Congressional representative is? Visit: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Support the International Violence Against Women Act

Dear [Representative],

I am writing to urge you to support and pass the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA).

 

The statistics are staggering – an estimated 1 in 3 women will face physical, mental, or sexual abuse in their lifetimes.  Nearly 39,000 girls under the age 18 are married each day.  Female genital cutting has impacted more than 200 million women and girls alive today. Gender-based violence is both the cause for migration and an eminent risk along the journey and even the place of refuge.  Nearly half of the migrant women and children surveyed in Libya for a 2017 UNICEF study reported sexual violence and abuse on their journey, often at multiple times or locations. Violent extremism is on the rise and it places the subordination of women at the center of the ideology and war tactics, where captured women and girls become tools for recruitment and commodities or a source of income for war chests. As these numbers accumulate, our efforts to prevent and ultimately end violence against women worldwide pale in comparison to the dire need. At a time when evidence confirms the link between security of women and security of states, and where it is now understood that the overall level of violence against women is a better predictor of state peacefulness, compliance with international treaty obligations, and relations with neighboring countries than indicators measuring the level of democracy, level of wealth, and civilizational identity of the state, we cannot ignore this link and our policies and efforts must reflect this understanding.

The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), makes ending violence against women and girls a top diplomatic, development, and foreign assistance priority by ensuring the U.S. government has a strategy to efficiently and effectively coordinate existing cross-governmental efforts to prevent and respond to GBV globally. This bill streamlines the US’s current work and will not require any extra funding. Specifically, IVAWA:

  • Establishes a clear Global Strategy on how to combat violence and calls for collaboration with other agencies, governments, and organizations, including faith-based organizations, service providers, researchers, and others, along with multilateral organizations
  • Makes the Office of Global Women’s Issues a permanent fixture in the State Department, where it can play an active role in informing the US’s foreign policy approach in relation to gender
  • Develops Country Plans which will be comprehensive, individualized accounts that explain what violence women face and how that violence will be addressed in each country
  • Calls for regular reports and briefings of Congress regarding violence against women and the US’s efforts to prevent it

Since this legislation is aimed at coordinating and integrating existing programs, it does not require the appropriation of additional funding.

Women and girls around the world have the right to live free from fear and harm. Please make a difference in the lives of millions of women and girls. Pass I-VAWA!

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]