While many countries have legislation addressing violence against women, few countries enforce these laws. Vital Voices makes laws keep their promises.
Why we care: Regardless of culture or geography, age or race, women are subjected daily to violence in its many forms: domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and harmful traditional practices.
How we’re solving this: Vital Voices addresses the issue of violence against women by working with women leaders, women’s rights advocates and activists, and government officials to create a holistic, coordinated community response to gender-based violence.
One in three women will experience violence in her lifetime. As long as the laws remain unenforced – and violence against women persists – women’s human rights are restricted, democracy is compromised, and development is stalled.
Vital Voices established an innovative, inclusive training program, engaging the entire community – both women and men – to address these issues head-on. An effective coordinated response to violence against women requires that members of the criminal justice system (i.e. police officers, prosecutors, judges) work collaboratively with the women leaders in the community who are providing services to victims, advocating for the passage of legislation, and demanding that laws be enforced.
There are currently four versions of this unique training program – one each for domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, and universal violence against women. Topics discussed include how to hold offenders accountable for their crimes, the importance of ensuring the safety and dignity of the victims, and why the police and judges should implement the laws that already exist.
With the investment made by donors through Catapult, Vital Voices will be able to help continue operations in Cameroon and plan for the expansion of services to other countries.