(Washington, D.C.) – Cristina Finch, policy director for women’s human rights at Amnesty International USA, made the following comments today in response to the re-introduction in the U.S. House of the International Violence Against Women Act:
“Women and girls around the world deserve to live free from fear and harm. This legislation is key to achieving that goal. The International Violence Against Women Act would coordinate and improve the U.S. government’s efforts to stop this global scourge by making it a priority in diplomatic and foreign assistance initiatives. This will help to ensure that the United States lives up to its international responsibility to end violence against women and girls. We applaud reintroduction of the legislation and urge Congress to show its commitment to the human rights of women and girls by passing the bill.”
IVAWA would create a comprehensive, integrated approach to protect and support survivors of violence, hold perpetrators accountable, and support efforts to change public attitudes that condone violence. The bill would create a five-year strategy and fund programs to prevent and combat violence and incorporate new ways to combat violence in programs that currently exist. The bill would enable the U.S. government to develop a faster and more efficient response to violence against women in humanitarian emergencies and conflict-related situations.
Living free from violence is a human right, yet millions of women and girls suffer disproportionately from violence, both in times of peace and in times of war, at the hands of the state and in their communities and homes. Around the world at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime; often with impunity. States have the obligation to prevent, protect against and punish violence against women. Yet such violence is often ignored and rarely punished. Too often no one is held accountable for these crimes.
Whether combating sexual violence against Indigenous women in the United States or supporting the right of girls in Afghanistan to be educated free from violence, Amnesty International works to hold all states and perpetrators accountable and put an end to violence against women.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.