In some countries, as many as 70 percent of women will experience violence in their lifetimes. We cannot stand by and watch.

An estimated one in three women globally will be victims of violence at some point in their life, and in some countries this number rises to as high as 70 percent. Women who live in poverty are especially vulnerable.

Violence against women and girls takes many forms. Physical abuse, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence are most commonly heard about. But, there is also child marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting, trafficking, psychological abuse, honor killings, prenatal sex selection, economic abuse, and unfortunately the list goes on.

World Vision is committed to ending violence in all its forms, including against children and women who are most vulnerable. Violence is wrong – God created every human being in His image with the intention that each person has the chance to live life in all its fullness. Being a victim of violence can increase a person’s risk for maternal health complications, including pre-term birth, obstetric fistula, and even maternal and child death. Their risk of HIV may be up to three times greater, or more in some cases, due to violence. Psychological disorders, including suicide and depression, become more prevalent. Children are often traumatized, may become displaced from their homes, and can be victims often as adults.

The International Violence Against Women Act (S. 2120/H.R. 5034) aims to take effective action to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls around the world as a matter of basic human rights.

This legislation recognizes that violence is perpetuated by poverty, a lack of education opportunities for girls and employment opportunities for women, cultural practices and beliefs, and conflict and humanitarian disasters. The International Violence Against Women Act also recognizes that gender disparities directly correspond with increased levels of political and economic instability in a country. Further, the bill acknowledges that to help solve this problem, faith-based organizations and faith leaders are key partners.

This bill will:

  • Require the U.S. government to develop a comprehensive strategy to address gender-based violence (GBV).
  • Legally reinforce the Office of Global Women’s issues and an existing position at the State Department, the Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
  • Identify four countries with significant levels of violence against women and girls and develop a comprehensive, multi-sectoral, and holistic individual country plan for each, designed to address and respond to violence against women and girls.


Date Introduced: February 15, 2018

Number of Cosponsors: 142


Date Introduced: November 14, 2017

Number of Cosponsors: 3

Additional Links:

See our leave-behind on the International Violence Against Women Act.

Read stories about ending violence against women and girls.

(Last Updated 2/4/19)