A U.S. Movement

Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence in the United States, including child sexual abuse

Violence against girls and women is universal. It is an epidemic that impacts all races, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, communities, and nations.

In the United States, girls are harassed in schools and in the streets, and their education and opportunities are limited by reduced self-confidence and experiences of sexual violence. Girls and young women are fed into commercial sexual exploitation after being victimized by a broken foster care system. And fear of deportation causes immigrant women to refrain from reporting domestic violence—especially in areas where local law enforcement practices require police officers to report the status of undocumented immigrants.

The Center for Disease Control estimates that domestic violence drains the U.S. economy of over $6 billion dollars each year in medical care, counseling, and lost work time.

Despite widespread violence against girls and women in the United States, there is a chronic myth that violence only happens to women in the developing world. This myth is dangerous. It ignores the widespread and devastating violence plaguing girls and women in the United States, and contributes to ongoing and pervasive gender inequality.


Image: Ms. Foundation Survivor-based Advocacy

The Ms. Foundation for Women’s commitment to ending child sexual abuse dates back to the early 1970s when the issue was first being named as part of the early feminist anti-rape movement. Since then, considerable progress has been made: Many survivors now speak openly about their experiences; the media covers abuse cases; and a range of policies, programs and organizations exist to address and remedy its effects. Together with NoVo Foundation, we seek to prevent abuse by addressing its root causes. In part this means combating widespread misperceptions about how and why child sexual abuse occurs and challenging predominant thinking about the most effective ways to prevent it.

NoVo Foundation fundamentally believes that we cannot look and act outside the United States without also examining and addressing what occurs right here at home. We are committed to ending violence against girls and women in our own homes, our own communities, and our own streets, while recognizing that the violence that girls and women experience in the United States as intrinsically connected to the violence that occurs in communities all around the world.

In fact, when we work to end violence against girls and women in the United States it has reverberations beyond our borders. Other communities and other nations recognize the importance of doing the same.

NoVo Foundation’s movement-building work to end violence against girls and women in the United States reflects both a responsibility to work within our own communities and a strategy to ending violence against girls and women everywhere.

Our grantees work toward achieving critical domestic policy reform, carry out community organizing work, and lead public awareness efforts to end violence against girls and women. Together, we are part of a global effort to value and empower girls and women.

NoVo’s work to end violence against girls and women in the United States is carried out through two separate programs. Move to End Violence is an operational program of NoVo Foundation that is designed to strengthen the collective capacity of advocates and organizations working to end violence against girls and women in the United States. We also support the Ms. Foundation for Women to carry out a grantmaking and movement-building program that seeks to end child sexual abuse in the United States.

Move to End Violence

Move to End Violence (MEV) is a 10-year strategic and holistic investment in the movement to end violence against girls and women in the United States. This hallmark program is a key example of NoVo Foundation’s belief in long-term, transformative change.

MEV was conceived in response to stakeholder interviews with more than 200 social change advocates—all of whom had related and deep experience working for girls and women. Over and over again, these stakeholders reported a lack of time, energy, and resources necessary to step back from the pressing needs of those impacted by violence and to consider how to end violence. The taxing nature and immense scale of this work was widely accepted as a source of significant burn-out in the field and as a drain on the personal resources needed to cultivate visionary ideas, strategy, and leadership.

Stakeholders also highlighted the innovative work that was already being carried out at the margins of the field, and expressed the importance of building its capacity and integrating it into the overall movement.

With this learning, NoVo Foundation set out to build a program that invested in several aspects of the movement. Move to End Violence aims to:

  • Lift up the innovation already occurring within the field;
  • Invest in critical capacity needs of individual advocates and their organizations; and
  • Create the space and opportunity for leaders to align around a collective, integrated vision of how to end violence against girls and women.

Move to End Violence has been designed as a series of five cohorts, each on a two-year cycle that is connected to and builds upon the work and experience of the cohort before. Each cohort is made up of 15 to 20 advocates who work on ending violence against girls and women, and is structured around six in-person convenings and other interim work. These activities are designed to help build individual and organizational capacity in self-care, leadership development, movement visioning, organizational development, and social-change skills.

Over the life of the 10-year program, MEV will engage over 100 individuals and nearly as many organizations. Through these partnerships we hope to establish a powerful infrastructure of sophisticated leaders and organizations that can lead the effort to end violence against girls and women long after the program’s tenure. We also aim for the work of each cohort to ripple outward and influence the theory, strategy, and action of the broader effort to end violence against girls and women and the overall social justice movement.

Learn more about the history, objectives, and activities of the Move to End Violence.