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Gender-based Violence Emergency Repsonse Initiative

Opening Remarks at the Launch of the Gender-based Violence Emergency Repsonse Initiative

Sarah Sewall
Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights
Washington, DC
March 20, 2014

Thank you, Uzra, for that kind introduction. It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the public launch of the Gender Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative. I’d like to start by thanking the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, as well as Vital Voices, and Avon for their work on this initiative, and for making it possible for all of us to be here today. Let’s give them a round of applause.

We are here today to recognize that through enhanced coordination and strategic partnerships, we can bridge the difference between despair and hope in the life of a person who has experienced violence due to their sex or gender.

With $1 million in seed money, the GBV Initiative fills a gap to assist the most vulnerable individuals with urgent help when it’s most needed. The U.S. Department of State, Vital Voices, and the Avon Foundation have come together to steward a global network of dedicated civil society organizations to provide concrete, targeted assistance to individuals in need, particularly women and girls.

This global network of organizations includes some of the best of their kind from around the world. Lead consortium partners include Promundo, the International Organization for Migration, and the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative.

Now, when the we when hear of egregious cases of gender-based violence, like a case of forced marriage or human trafficking or an individual under credible threat of imminent attack due to their sex or gender, we can do more than just to connect people with experts or local organizations and hope for the best. Now, we can directly help those local organizations support the survivors by paying for the critical and timely care that is needed.


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