Amnesty International USA Applauds Strong Bipartisan Reintroduction of International Violence Against Women Act

Press Release
November 22, 2013

Amnesty International USA Applauds Strong Bipartisan Reintroduction of International Violence Against Women Act

Advocates Urge Congressional Passage

CONTACT: Samantha Friedman, West End Strategy Team, Samantha@westendstrategy.com, Office - (202) 776-7700, Cell - (202) 215-9260

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - With the strong bipartisan reintroduction of the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) in the House of Representatives, Amnesty International USA is urging lawmakers to continue to apply a bipartisan approach to passing the critical legislation that would position the United States as an important ally for millions of women worldwide whose right to live free from violence is under daily threat.

The bill comes at a critical moment. As the world prepares to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Monday, November 25, not a day goes by when women's lives aren't affected by violence. The International Violence Against Women Act would codify President Obama's strategy to make gender-based violence prevention - in homes, communities and conflict zones - a top U.S. diplomatic and foreign assistance priority.

"Living free from violence is a human right, yet one-in-three women will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime," said Cristina Finch, Managing Director of Amnesty International USA's Women's Human Rights Program. "Congress has the opportunity to show its commitment to women and girls and help make the one-in-three become none-in-three by supporting and passing the International Violence Against Women Act in a bipartisan way. Amnesty International USA looks forward to the bill's reintroduction in the Senate in coming weeks."

Despite the horrific attacks on women and girls in Kenya, Syria, Egypt, India and Pakistan that have recently captured the world's attention, Congress has yet to pass comprehensive legislation to help prevent and reduce common forms of violence against women and girls globally.

Amnesty applauds the strong bipartisan effort in which five Members of Congress joined Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) as original sponsors of the International Violence Against Women Act, H.R. 3571: Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).

Finch delivered testimony Wednesday at the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights Hearing on Gender-Based Violence to urge Congressional action on the International Violence Against Women Act, and published a recent Amnesty International USA blog post, "Why Won't Congress Pass the International Violence Against Women Act?"

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members 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.