Statement of Carolyn B. Lamm, President, ABA Re: Introduction of the International Violence Against Women Act
On behalf of the American Bar Association, I applaud lead sponsors Sens. John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Reps. William Delahunt, Ted Poe and Jan Schakowsky for their leadership in introducing the International Violence Against Women Act.
Violence against women and girls around the world not only impacts those who are subjected to it, but has a destabilizing effect on societies as a whole. By instilling fear and insecurity in women, undermining family foundations and terrifying children who observe their mothers being violated, perpetrators of gender-based violence stunt progress toward equality, development and peace.
The lack of resources, including lack of legal services, inadequate protection and disinterested law enforcement, are among the many factors that exacerbate gender-based violence. The I-VAWA will go a long way in addressing gender-based violence by making it a priority for U.S. policy and linking assistance, including development aid, with efforts to combat that violence.
By treating the problem holistically, in a multidisciplinary fashion, we can make great strides in ending this scourge that denigrates women and girls, and truly all of society.