International Violence Against Women IMA World Health


On May 8, 2014, the International Violence Against Women Act or “IVAWA” for short, was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in order to make combatting violence perpetrated against women and girls internationally a priority for the United States.

Companion legislation, H.R. 3571, was introduced in the House of Representatives on November 21, 2013 by Democratic Representatives  Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Republican Representatives Richard Hanna (R-NY) and Chris Gibson (R-NY) introduced H.R. 3571.

The International Violence Against Women Act would provide a comprehensive strategy to address violence against women and girls in developing countries. This bill would authorize new tools such as health programs and survivor interventions to legal reforms, with the goal of promoting economic opportunities and education for women.  IVAWA would also authorize an expansion of humanitarian funding and improve the response to unforeseen incidents of violence against women and girls.

Letter to Representative/Senator:

Below we have included a sample letter which you can send to your member of Congress. If you can, we strongly suggest that you add a personal sentence or two for why I-VAWA is important to you to help the letter stand out. Then, simply fill in the address and name of your Congressman in the letter below and send it via e-mail or postal service. Look up your Congressman’s information here.

Thank you for taking a stance on this important issue!

The Honorable ,

Dear Senator/Representative ,

I am writing as a constituent and a firm supporter of women’s rights worldwide to urge you to co-sponsor the International Violence Against Women Act (H.R.3571/S.2307) in 2014.

More than 70 percent of women in some countries will experience violence in their lifetime. This is beyond a mere statistic, but a point of crisis. The I-VAWA gives the United States an opportunity, as a world leader, to make a critical difference in the lives of women and girls across the globe.

As a representative of the American public, you should be aware that 61 percent of voters believe that global violence against women needs to become one of the top international priorities for the U.S. government (according to a 2009 poll).

Every day, mothers, daughters, and sisters are being beaten and abused, raped and mutilated, burned and enslaved. We have surpassed the point where our involvement in ending this violence is optional; it is now our moral obligation.

I am asking you to stand up for these women and girls and help pass the International Violence Against Women Act.


Thank you for considering this request.