Providing direct financial assistance to survivors of extreme forms of gender-based violence and improving the coordinated response to the gender based violence global epidemic.
Gender Based Violence (including sexual violence, human trafficking, domestic violence, forced marriages, and honor crime) has reached epidemic proportions and no single solution or action will end it. The WHO reports that 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. An astonishing 30% have experienced violence by their intimate partner, making it the most prevalent form of GBV. No one sector working alone can effectively address this complex issue. NGOs need to provide services; advocates need to change cultural norms and attitudes to prevent violence; justice system actors need to hold offenders accountable; and all of these agencies need to work together collaboratively in order to protect current victims, prevent future victims, and deny impunity for perpetrators.
The Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative (GBV Initiative) is a public private partnership among Vital Voices, the U.S. Department of State and the Avon Foundation which comprehensively addresses this multi-faceted problem in 3 distinct ways. First, the Initiative provides direct financial assistance to survivors of extreme forms of GBV, or to an NGO that is assisting them, so that they can access emergency services such as medical care, legal assistance, shelter, and psychosocial support. Many of the survivors who have received assistance from this Initiative have been women and girls from Iraq who were subjected to extreme violence at the hands of ISIS. Second, the Initiative offers training and technical support through the Justice Institutes on Gender-based Violence. Since the launch in 2014, the Initiative has provided these comprehensive, multi-disciplinary trainings to address GBV in Nepal, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, and India. Third, the Initiative is creating a network of GBV service providers and improving the coordinated response to GBV.
What help is needed
Vital Voices, the Avon Foundation, and the U.S. State Department are committed to increasing the reach and impact of the GBV Initiative.
- Vital Voices will commit to lead this Initiative, drafting and delivering the multi-disciplinary trainings, monitoring the secure, confidential requests for assistance, and supporting survivors of extreme forms of GBV
- The Avon Foundation is committing an additional $500,000 USD to support 5 additional Justice Institutes on Gender Based Violence.
- The U.S. State Department is committing an additional $2 million USD to support the Initiative.
How conference participants can support this Action Item
- NGO representatives can apply for financial assistance to support a survivor of extreme forms of GBV
- All participants can share information about the GBV Initiative and the assistance and services that are available. (Forms for distribution are available in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.)
- All participants (including individuals, businesses, and governments) can make a financial contribution to support the work of the GBV Initiative.
- We request and encourage more businesses and private sector companies to join this partnership. (Hilton Worldwide has already joined this effort by supporting a Justice Institute to Combat Human Trafficking in Thailand.)
- >For the first time the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals include a specific target on ending violence against women. We invite and encourage all signatory states to work to achieve this goal by joining this Initiative.
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