Stop Rape of Women and Girls in the Congo

War has ravaged the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for more than two decades. Almost 5.5 million people are dead, and the wounds of the conflict are deep and enduring.

Women in the DRC are victims of one of the most appalling assaults the world has witnessed. Rape and brutal sexual assaults have become tools of war -- spreading HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, disfiguring women and destroying families. The violence is not only traumatizing women, but their children, who often witness the attacks or who are attacked themselves.

There is no end in sight. Tens of thousands more women and young girls are at risk with the newest wave of heavy fighting between rebel and government troops.

That's why your support for the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) is so urgently needed. This legislation will increase protection and services for women and girls facing gender based violence, and will direct more U.S. funding to violence prevention abroad.

As your constituent and a supporter of CARE, I am writing to strongly urge you to support the International Violence Against Women Act when it is reintroduced during the next Congress.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) women are kidnapped, raped, beaten and even killed by armed men every day. By passing IVAWA, we will take a significant step toward addressing this type of violence in the DRC and other crisis regions around the world.

IVAWA represents U.S. commitment to eliminating violence against women worldwide. This legislation will integrate policies that help prevent and reduce gender-based violence into existing U.S. foreign assistance and development programs.

I encourage you to learn more about this issue and support legislation to help stop violence against women worldwide. The current situation in the DRC proves that the time to pass this legislation is now.

[Your comments]

Thank you very much for your time and attention, and please remember your vote for IVAWA will help bring an end to violence against women all over the world.
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