During emergencies like disasters, armed conflicts, and even pandemics, violence against women and girls rises dramatically.
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During COVID-19 lockdowns, domestic violence has risen around the world and countries like Somalia are experiencing an increase in female genital mutilation and cutting. Our own report predicts millions more child marriages will occur globally due to the increased financial strain caused by COVID-19.
Indeed, during emergencies like disasters, armed conflict, and even pandemics, there is a dramatic rise in incidents of gender-based violence (GBV), including:
- Child marriage
- Intimate-partner violence
- Rape as a tactic of war
- Sexual assault or exploitation
- Female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C)
Too often, gender-based violence isn’t recognized at the start of an emergency, and humanitarian responders are underequipped to address it.
But together, we can make sure the safety of women and girls isn’t an afterthought. Join us in showing God’s love and justice to those most at risk of violence during crises by advocating for the Keeping Women and Girls Safe from the Start Act.
Since 2013, the U.S. has been a leader in global efforts to address gender-based violence during emergencies through Safe from the Start, a State Department and USAID program. The Keeping Women and Girls Safe from the Start Act, led by Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), would expand this important work and ensure it continues during future global conflicts and crises.
This bill would strengthen coordination among humanitarian responders, provide survivor-centered services, and empower girls to be leaders in helping their communities return to normalcy. Ask your Senator to join the Keeping Women and Girls Safe from the Start Act as an original cosponsor in the 117th Congress.
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(Last Updated 1/8/21)