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New Initiative Addressing Gender Based Violence


Gender-based violence is a world-wide pandemic.

The Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative helps provide immediate financial assistance for survivors of severe gender-based violence.

In late March, as part of the U.S. government’s drive toward gender equality and global elimination of gender-based violence, or GBV, the Department of State, working through its bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, introduced the Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative. This program aims to help provide immediate financial assistance for survivors of severe gender-based violence, as well as for those who find themselves under threat of imminent attack due to their gender or gender identity.


This is a first-of-its-kind, global program dedicated to aiding survivors of extreme forms of gender-based violence, everywhere. The network will be funded by the State Department and run by a consortium of nongovernmental organizations. Those organizations include Vital Voices Global Partnership, Promundo-US, the International Organization for Migration, and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative.

The new Gender-Based Violence Emergency and Protection Initiative builds on and complements past U.S. efforts to eliminate gender-based violence, said U.S. Deputy Secretary Robert Burns. It has three clear objectives.

First, survivors of gender-based violence will receive urgent support like immediate medical help, emergency shelter, psychosocial support, and legal assistance.

Second, the program will provide targeted training for governments and civil society on GBV-related laws and advocacy. These trainings support men and women working to put an end to gender-based violence.
And finally, all partners in the initiative will work to develop a regional and international network of service providers and activists in 11 country hubs.. “From Mexico to Mali and Tajikistan to Thailand, these networks will share data, lessons learned, and best practices, coordinate emergency responses, and work together on shared advocacy efforts,” said Deputy Secretary Burns.

“Gender-based violence . . . . is an inexcusable crime and an affront to dignity and human rights It robs people, disproportionately women and girls, of their potential and threatens their mental, physical, and reproductive health. It denies economic opportunity and undermines economic growth. And it imperils the safety and stability of communities and of countries."

“To make a lasting impact,” he said, “we need to match the scope of this challenge with the intensity of our response. It will require each and every one of us to stay focused, to continue to marry words with deeds, and to never be content with cheering from the sidelines when we can join the global effort to end the epidemic of gender-based violence once and for all.”
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