Domestic violence is a health care problem of epidemic proportions. In addition to the immediate trauma caused by abuse, domestic violence contributes to a number of chronic health problems, including depression, alcohol and substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and often limits the ability of women to manage other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. Despite these facts, a critical gap remains in the delivery of health care to battered women, with many providers discharging a woman with only the presenting injuries being treated, leaving the underlying cause of those injuries not addressed. To read the full report visit Futures Without Violence.
International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA)
Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL) re-introduced the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) in the House, with bipartisan support from Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Richard Hanna (R-NY), and Chris Gibson (R-NY).
We applaud these representatives 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.
I-VAWA calls for a comprehensive U.S. response to end violence against women and girls globally by:
- Directing the Department of State and USAID to develop 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 I-VAWA. In the coming weeks, we hope that the Senate will reintroduce a bipartisan I-VAWA, and bring us one step closer toward protecting women and girls from violence worldwide.
Please visit Futures Without Violence and urge Congress to PASS I-VAWA.