International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA)

April 22, 2014


Worldwide violence against women around the world is a horrific and pervasive human rights crisis that demands our response. Far too many women and girls in every country fall prey to exploitation, are attacked as they attend school, endure violence in the home, or are raped as a weapon of terrorism, occupation and war.  At least one out of every three women globally will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime—with rates reaching 70 percent in some countries. 

On November 21, 2013, The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA),  H.R.3571, was re-introduced in the House by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), with bipartisan support from Reps. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). The House bill has 56 sponsors.  Now we need everyone’s help to encourage the Senate to do the same and re-introduce a bipartisan IVAWA.   

IVAWA calls for a comprehensive U.S. response to end violence against women and girls globally by:

  • Directing the Department of State and USAID to develop a comprehensive multi-sectoral strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence;
  • Integrating efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls as part of U.S. foreign assistance programs including health, education, economic growth, legal reform, political participation, social norm change, humanitarian assistance, and foreign security training, among others;
  • Supporting overseas non-governmental and community-based organizations working to end violence against women and girls; and,
  • Ensuring uniform data collection, reporting and accountability measures are in place to track investments in programs that address gender-based violence. 

Resources: IVAWA Toolkit


Please urge your Members of Congress to cosponsor and pass IVAWA today!  Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Kirk (RIL), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) have already committed to lead on IVAWA.  But they need Republican partners tojoin the effort and become original cosponsors of the bill so that our efforts, in the spirit of VAWA,  are truly bi-partisan 

Suggested Phone Script:

You can reach the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121.

1.)             Telephone calls are usually taken by a staff member. Ask to speak with the aide who handles women’s issues or foreign affairs issues.

2.)             After identifying yourself as a constituent, tell the staffer that you would like to leave a brief message. 

“Please tell Representative/Senator ____________ that I support the International Violence Against Women Act.”

3.)             Ask for the position of your Member of Congress on the bill.  If they are a co-sponsor, thank them for their support and urge them to help pass IVAWA in 2013.

4.)             If they are not a  cosponsor, you can say: 

“Please urge the Representative/Senator ____________ to cosponsor the bill and help pass IVAWA in 2014.”

5.)             And add:

“I support the bill because:

  • Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation occurring globally.
  • An estimated one in every three women globally will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. 
  • The International Violence Against Women Act supports measures to prevent violence, protect survivors and bring perpetrators to justice. 

Check to see if they voted for VAWA in 2013 and thank them for that.

You can and should request a written response to your telephone call.

While every Senator should be asked, special efforts should be made for the following Senators:

*Senator John Barrasso (R-WY): (202) 224-6441

*!Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ): (202) 224-4521

*Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI): (202) 224-5323

*!Senator John McCain (R-AZ): (202) 224-2235

!Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): (202) 224-6665

!Senator Rob Portman (R-OH): (202) 224-3353

* = on Senate Foreign Relations Committee

! = voted for S. 42, VAWA 2013


For questions or more information, contact Celia Richa of Futures Without Violence at 202-595-7387, or Julia Drost of Amnesty International USA at (202) 675-8758,



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