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Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Stop Violence – Women Can Wait No Longer

One of every three women will be abused in her lifetime. The International Violence Against Women Act, now before Congress, would put women’s rights at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy.
Photo: Democratic Republic of Congo, courtesy Kevin Sites

This blog post was written and orignally posted by Elisabeth Roesch, the gender-based violence advocacy officer for our affilitate organization The International Rescue Committee.

The countdown has begun for Congress to act on a bill that would help harness U.S. efforts to confront the biggest moral outrage of our time – violence against women and girls. At a Congressional panel in support of the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) last week, the sentiment was clear – now is the time. Women can wait no longer.

The briefing on Thursday morning brought together a star panel of activists and leaders, including the actress Samantha Mathis, an impassioned advocate for women’s rights; Rose Mapendo, a courageous and outspoken refugee activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Ritu Sharma, president and co-founder of Women Thrive Worldwide.

I have been working to advocate for an end to violence against women for many years, but I am still shocked by the multiple and horrific ways that brutality can be inflicted. Fortunately, I am also awestruck each time I hear a unique and inspiring story of  violence overcome. While the stories I heard last week were devastating, the message they imparted was one of hope. I think it is impossible to witness such courage and passion and not be infected with a sense that stories are more than words –they are a call to action.  

For those who don’t know the statistics, violence against women is not a marginal issue. One of every three women will be abused in her lifetime — and in the United States alone, such violence costs taxpayers nearly $6 billion a year.

 Continue reading on The International Rescue Committee's blog. Click here. 

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Sexual and Gender-Based Violence