Sexual Violence, and How to Help – Nicholas D. Kristof Blog – NYTimes.com

Today, I learned about domestic violence and immigration. It must be difficult to deal with abuse at home and worry about deportation. There must be some way to streamline the process to help those in need! It is not right for it to take 18 months to 10 years before these people are free from domestic violence.

Most people when they see a close friend or family member in a domestic violence situation, they tell them to leave the relationship. Generally about 5,000 people are killed due to domestic violence. 80% of those deaths occur after leaving the relationship.

Below is an Op-Ed article by Nicholas Kristof on sexual violence. Enjoy.

October 8, 2011, 5:27 PM

Sexual Violence, and How to Help

By NICHOLAS KRISTOF

My Sunday column reports on one of the front lines in the war on sexual violence: Sierra Leone. The civil war has ended there but the war on women and girls continues — and that’s a pattern all over the world. This has been a heartbreaking issue to report on, and I’m sure some readers will want to know how to help.

The organization I worked with in my reporting here is International Rescue Committee, the New York-based aid group. Its local head of women’s programs, Amie Kandeh, is from Sierra Leone, was educated in the U.S. and returned to try to help her country. She’s a force of nature and a wonderful advocate for women. The IRC has a fund to assist women in Sierra Leone through the programs that Amie manages.

As I noted in the column, I also think that the U.S. could make a useful stand by supporting IVAWA, the International Violence Against Women Act. The domestic version, Violence Against Women Act, was a milestone in terms of taking domestic violence seriously, and IVAWA could do the same on a global scale — but it has never found traction in Congress. And I’m appalled to see House Republican initiatives to defund the UN Population Fund, UNFPA, because it supposedly is soft on abortion — it isn’t, and in any case, it plays a crucial role in supporting family planning and programs against sexual violence.

More broadly, there are many other programs that help chip away at sexual violence. Girls’ education, and boys’ education for that matter, help change societies and empower women. Economic programs to give people livelihoods do the same. And I’m sure you have suggestions — please do post them here.

via Globalization and Human Rights – Nicholas D. Kristof Blog – NYTimes.com.