|Worldwide, violence against women and girls is widespread and is one of the most common human rights abuses. No country is free from these types of heinous acts; acts that rip away an individual’s freedom, security and all too often, life. While progress has been made in recent years in terms of female equality worldwide, these advances are not universal. Even in developed countries such as the United States, gender-based violence continues to impact countless women and girls each and every year.
The statistics surrounding this issue are truly alarming:
It is clear more work needs to be done by governments at all levels to ensure we devote resources to fight these attacks on women and girls and call attention to the widespread nature of these abuses at home and abroad. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes numerous international frameworks and instruments defining the obligation of member states to prevent and respond to violence against women. As such, to raise awareness of this issue around the world, each November a day is set aside as the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.”
- 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by an intimate partner.
- 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were killed by their partners or family in 2012; while 1 out of 20 men were killed under similar circumstances.
- 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation.
- 71% of all human trafficking victims worldwide are women and girls, and 3 out of 4 of these women and girls are sexually exploited.
- In the United States, about one-third of women killed in any given year are killed by an intimate partner.
- About 1 in 4 women in the United States have experienced sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
My resolution will designate November 25th as “Elimination of Violence Against Women Day” in Pennsylvania to coincide with this international occasion. I invite all my colleagues to join me in this effort to raise awareness about the problem of violence and discrimination against women and girls.