Human Rights

Our work helps people free themselves

from domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and harmful traditional practices.

By investing in women leaders who strengthen the design and implementation of legal frameworks, provide services to victims and change attitudes and behaviors about gender-based violence, we are chipping away at the greatest unfinished business of our time: ending violence against women around the world.

Voices Against Violence

Voices Against Violence: The Gender-Based Violence Global Initiative is a public-private partnership led by Vital Voices and funded with support from the State Department and the Avon Foundation. The program, led by a Consortium including Vital Voices, Promundo, IOM and Global Fund for Women, is designed to ensure that victims and survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful traditional practices around the world have better access to services, protection and the justice they deserve.

The Initiative implements comprehensive activities to address the following objectives:

  1. Victims/Survivors of extreme forms of GBV have increased access to global resources that allow them to address their urgent needs in the aftermath of violence or the threat of violence;
  2. Survivors of GBV have improved protections and access to justice, and CSOs have access to resources to advocate on behalf of survivors; and
  3. An international network is established to serve as a focal point and coordinate efforts around GBV.

Increased access
In an effort to support increased access to resource for survivors, the Initiative provides urgent assistance to support survivors of extreme forms of GBV and harmful traditional practices. Survivors may receive short-term assistance to support immediate, short-term needs in the aftermath of violence.

Improved protections
Specialized trainings for law enforcement and justice system actors around victim protection laws are a key strategy related to improving protections for survivors of GBV. Vital Voices implements multi-disciplinary trainings called Justice Institutes that aim to do just that, while also promoting offender accountability. These trainings are offered in various regions globally and focus on a holistic response to GBV.

Other areas of focus include specialized capacity-building programming focused on early and forced marriage in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. This program engages multi-disciplinary actors to address legal reform as well as the complex social issues that may contribute to early and forced marriage in this region. A similar program is being implemented to address female genital mutilation and cutting in West Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia, with a significant focus on addressing social and cultural norms that contribute to this harmful practice.

In addition to specialized trainings, the Initiative develops other training tools and resources, such as research to understand how to best to engage men and boys around GBV prevention. Further, competitive grant funding in targeted areas to increase community service organizations’ capacities to meet the identified needs of survivors. Grants are available by invitation only.

International network
The Voices Against Violence Consortium serves as a global focal point for coordinating urgent responses to survivors. The Consortium convenes GBV actors via regional events to initiate dialogue and to further collaboration and innovation in the field. Through its vast global network of women leaders and in partnership with the other Consortium members, Vital Voices also seeks to create a global directory of GBV resources so that survivors may be quickly connected with a service provider who can offer support.

For more information about the Voices Against Violence Program, please contact our team: humanrights@vitalvoices.org

Justice Institute to End Gender-Based Violence

The Justice Institutes on Gender-Based Violence, a key component of the Voices Against Violence Initiative, is an interactive training program that promotes employing a holistic response – focused on victim safety and offender accountability – to addressing violence against women.

Institutes are country-specific and regionally-tailored to provide participants with a human rights-based approach to identify, investigate, and prosecute gender-based violence crimes in their communities in a manner that focuses on offender accountability and victim safety.

Participants represent diverse sectors involved in the criminal justice system including judges, prosecutors, law enforcement and service providers. They receive training on how and why to collaborate across disciplines, particularly utilizing women leaders and NGO service providers.

Through the Voices Against Violence Initiative, Vital Voices has conducted Institutes, including 50-60 participants per instance, in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, India, Mexico, Nepal, South Africa and the Philippines. Ten additional trainings will occur between 2017 and 2018. Outside of the Voices Against Violence Initiative, Vital Voices has conducted Justice Institutes in three additional countries: Cameroon, China and Rwanda.

Justice Institute Partners

Global Freedom Exchange

Capitalizing on the leadership and expertise of international leaders in the Vital Voices network, the Global Freedom Exchange (GFE), A Hilton Worldwide and Vital Voices partnership, leverages leadership to end trafficking. Relying on a multi-faceted, impact-oriented approach, the program provides a dynamic educational and mentoring opportunity for emerging women leaders who are on the forefront of global efforts to prevent and respond to the destructive crime of child trafficking.

Each year, the GFE convenes a select group of between 15-25 women leaders from countries around the world. Over the past four years, the GFE has involved a total of 87 women leaders from 38 countries in the two-week experiential, interactive, learning and networking program in the United States that have developed unique, effective approaches to addressing human trafficking.

GFE participants, known as GFE Fellows, leverage the knowledge and networks gained from this program to enact positive change in their own communities and regions. Five GFE Fellows are selected each year to receive small grants to implement projects that build on the program’s mission to end child sex trafficking around the world.  

GFE Fellows all over the world use the tools and connections they obtained during their Fellowship experience to offer comprehensive services to survivors, reduce vulnerability to trafficking, hold perpetrators accountable, and to create a worldwide network of anti-trafficking leaders who are creating a safer world for vulnerable youth.

Global Freedom Exchange Partners