Violence against girls and women still occurs in staggering proportions. We know that one in three women around the globe will be beaten, raped, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. In the United States, the leading cause of death for women between the ages of 15 and 44 is domestic violence. An estimated 500,000 to 2 million people, mainly girls and women, are trafficked each year. Worldwide we see that the instability and lawlessness of wartime has severe and brutal consequence for girls and women, and their vulnerability to violence.
Violence clearly impacts every girl or woman who survives it. But the mere fear or threat of violence can also fundamentally shape a girl or woman and her access to opportunity and self-determination. For many girls around the world, schools are places of exploitation and violence, instead of being a safe haven. Teachers routinely demand sex in order to grant a passing grade, and boys and men threaten sexual assault while girls walk to class. Other girls are not in school at all; their movements are controlled and limited by abusive pimps. They are bought and sold for other people’s profit, and cycled through an industry that preys upon the marginalization and exploitation of girls and women.
Where girls and women live under the daily threat of violence, there can be no real partnership or collaboration. It is both a cause and a consequence of a world greatly out of balance.
At NoVo Foundation we seek a bold response to ending violence against girls and women. Only then will we truly transform society.
The Initiative to End Violence Against Girls and Women supports change agents who take on often deep-seated attitudes that lead to violence against girls and women. Together with our partners, we work to empower girls and women in order to balance inequitable relationships between women and men, and challenge powerful institutions and behaviors that perpetuate violence and discrimination. We see boys and men as playing a critical role in ending violence against girls and women, and work to build meaningful partnerships that can help shift social norms.
Our work to end violence against girls and women is guided by our vision for a more just and balanced world. We believe that violence against girls and women can end. It must end if we are to going to create positive, lasting change in the world.