Women everywhere deserve to live without fear of violence, harassment, or abuse.
Yet in all corners of the world, women must often think twice before walking home at night, ordering a drink in public, traveling solo, or going to school. It doesn't have to be this way.
A world without fear is possible for millions of women if U.S. leaders properly invest in global programs that prevent and respond to gender-based violence and address women's unique needs.
Sign the petition today to make your voice heard.
Women everywhere deserve to enjoy life without fear of abuse, harassment and violence. That is why I'm reaching out to you today as your constituent.
I'm speaking up with CARE Action advocates nationwide to urge you to fully fund programs that would prevent and respond to gender-based violence at $250 million in the 118th Congress, which would support women and girls' access to services that address violence.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global problem of epidemic proportions. One in three women will experience GBV in her lifetime, and that number rises to one in five during humanitarian emergencies. GBV – including intimate partner violence, harassment, exploitation, abuse, child, early and force marriage, and human trafficking – can undermine all areas of a woman's life, from her health and her education to her work and her livelihood.
As the rate and intensity of humanitarian crises continue to grow worldwide, so does the risk of violence against civilians. Women and girls are impacted greatly during humanitarian crises, which currently affect more than 324 million people worldwide. Not only do crisis-affected populations face displacement and the loss of their homes, livelihoods, and loved ones as a result of conflicts and emergencies, they often are vulnerable to acts such as rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, or child marriage. GBV is a stark violation of their rights and dignity and stands in the way of the security and health of refugees and displaced people during a crisis.
COVID-19 has already increased the rates of GBV in humanitarian contexts. Programs funded by the U.S.
Government help humanitarian aid workers prevent GBV by equipping them with resources, skills, protocols, and other tools to prevent gender-based violence at the start of an emergency. The U.S. is a critical leader in creating more effective responses to GBV in humanitarian settings, including GBV exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and the global food crisis.
Funding to prevent and respond to GBV in emergencies, including programs like Safe from the Start, ensures that local organizations in the country responding to humanitarian emergencies can effectively identify and address gender-based violence from the onset of a crisis, giving women and girls greater opportunities to help prevent such violence and contribute towards improving the safety of their communities. The goal of these programs is to reduce the incidence of GBV, ensure quality support for survivors from the very beginning of emergencies through timely and effective humanitarian action, and promote standards for prevention, mitigation and response to such crises.
The United States has within its power the ability to provide support to those who have survived or who are at risk of these horrific acts of violence. We can help ensure that women's voices are heard in leadership and decision-making processes so that such acts can be prevented. We can empower women and girls to be agents of change in their communities, particularly during times of crisis. Your leadership in funding these critical programs and services that address GBV in humanitarian emergencies is critical – particularly with the U.S. as one of the world's largest donors to humanitarian assistance.
I urge you to use your voice in Congress to fund programs that prevent and respond to gender-based violence at $250 million in FY24 appropriations. This funding makes clear that the United States stands with women's right to live without fear.