The Safer Sooner Report identifies gaps under current international systems in addressing and preventing violence against women and girls, and maps out a path to a world where every woman can claim her right to live free from violence.The objective for any advocate for women and girls is to make the world safer, as soon as possible. A global binding norm provides that path.
Over the last three decades, the international community has recognized that violence against women is one of the most widespread human rights violations today and is a public health crisis. Multiple international and regional instruments have been put in place to stop it.
These tools have made extraordinary strides in women’s protection and security,
yet rates of violence against women and girls persist globally. More than one in three women worldwide experience sexual or domestic violence—more than 1.3 billion women, eclipsing the number of people affected by HIV/AIDS, measles, Ebola, and malaria combined.
The idea of a binding norm on violence against women and girls was introduced in 1996 by the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, in her report to the Commission on Human Rights. Today, there is unprecedented momentum on women’s safety, spurred by horrific acts of violence around the world, including the brutal gang rape and murder of a young woman in India in 2012 and the abduction of school girls in Nigeria by Boko Haram.
The widespread revelations revealed by the global #MeToo movement also have activists demanding action, seen in a powerful way with the viral 2019 protest “The Rapist is You,” ignited by Chilean feminist group Las Tesis. People across the globe are asking for systems change. Strong models for rapid institutional and cultural change are available, as are global best practices that combine proven interventions and strategies from human rights and public health.
With these practices contained in a global binding norm on violence against women and girls, the current system of impunity can shift to one of safety and accountability,bringing forward a safer, more just world for women and girls everywhere.
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