The challenge of ending violence against women may seem overwhelming, but the United States and its partners have been successful in working to address the underlying causes of violence against women. Key among these is working with men and boys. In the Balkans, a once war-torn region still home to U.S. troops, more than 4,000 young men have participated in programs organized by the humanitarian organization CARE to reframe the role of violence in society and how men and women should relate. Programs like these help expose some of the root causes of violence against women and, when combined with women’s empowerment programs, victims services and better legal protection, can have a tremendously positive impact on women, families and entire communities. The United States can play a major role in helping to end violence against women around the globe, and IVAWA is an important first step in making that a reality.
We must continue making strides against this global health crisis, and I believe 2014 is the year to do it.