February 04, 2010


Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, today joined Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and 20 other Senate colleagues in introducing The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).


This landmark bipartisan legislation makes combating violence against women and girls a strategic imperative for the United States government. IVAWA creates new institutional authorities, responsibilities, and funding to fight the scourge of violence against women and girls around the globe.


"Violence against women and girls is an extreme human rights violation, a public health epidemic and a barrier to solving global challenges such as extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS and conflict.  It devastates the lives of millions and knows no national or cultural barriers ," said Senator Cardin.   "I am proud to join my colleagues as a cosponsor of the International Violence Against Women Act because it has real power to save the lives of women and girls and end the vicious cycle of poverty around the world."


"Women are much more likely to be among the world's poorest, living on a $1 a day or less, and the violence they face keeps them poor. It prevents them from getting an education, going to work, and earning the income they need to lift their families out of poverty. Greater economic opportunity and earning capacity not only allows women an option of escaping violent situations, but more importantly, it increases equality and mutual respect within households, reducing women's vulnerability to abuse in the first place."


Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roland Burris (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) also are co-sponsors of the legislation.