Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a global pandemic that affects women, men, and children. GBV should be understood as violence directed at a person, based on gender, gender identity, or perceived adherence to socially-defined norms of masculinity or femininity.
The U.S. Response
Under the leadership of President Barack Obama, the United States has put gender equality and the advancement of women and girls at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy. Preventing and responding to gender-based violence (GBV) is a cornerstone of the Administration’s commitment to advancing gender equality.
In recognition of this policy, and in coordination with other international GBV-related programs, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor launched the GBV Emergency Response and Protection Initiative (GBV Initiative). This Initiative fills a critical gap by providing urgent assistance to threatened individuals with rapid, targeted, short term support.
Forms of GBV
The GBV Initiative aims to assist individuals facing harmful traditional practices such as early and forced marriage, female genital mutilation, “honor” based violence including threats of so-called “honor” killings, as well as other forms of GBV, such as female infanticide, child sexual abuse, sex trafficking and forced labor, sexual coercion and abuse, neglect, domestic/intimate partner violence, and elder abuse.
• Urgent Assistance for Survivors
The GBV Initiative addresses the immediate security needs of survivors of gender-based violence and individuals under credible threat of imminent attack due to their gender or gender identity.
Individuals can receive assistance for up to six months or $5,000. Assistance is intended to be short-term support. Funds can be used to address short-term emergency needs, such as, but not limited to payment for legal and medical bills, relocation, security, and dependent support.
• Targeted Training and Advocacy
The GBV Initiative also supports integrated training for governments, the judiciary, and key civil society actors in implementing laws that address GBV. These trainings are funded in partnership with the Avon Foundation.
The GBV Initiative also supports targeted advocacy training for civil society actors working to address cultural attitudes and norms related to gender-based violence. These programs include engaging men and boys around GBV prevention.
• Building and Coordinating a Global Network
The GBV Initiative will focus on and coordinate programs in 11 hub countries in the Middle East, Africa, South and Central Asia, and Latin America.
The GBV Initiative’s network is managed by a consortium of non-governmental organizations led by Vital Voices Global Partnership. Consortium members include: Promundo-US, the International Organization for Migration, and the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative.
For more information about the GBV Initiative, please contact DRL-GBV@state.gov.
To refer potential emergency cases, contact GBVresponse@gmail.com for review, vetting, and follow up.
- Source: state.gov
- Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict: Turning Commitment Into Action – 6/23/14
- Secretary Kerry Joint Press Availability with UK Foreign Secretary Hague and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie – 6/13/14
- Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict – 6/13/14
- Fact Sheet: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict – 6/13/14
- Launch of Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative – 3/20/14