In 2013, the World Health Organization reported that 1 in 3 women globally will experience SGBV in her lifetime;1 a study released in 2011 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had already produced similar findings in the US, while noting that along with 1 in 3 American women, as many as 1 in 4 American men will experience this violence as well.2
We cannot continue to give silent consent to the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence both in our own communities and around the world.
We Will Speak Out U.S. is a movement of diverse faith groups from across the U.S. joining together with other leaders for action and advocacy to end the silence around sexual and gender-based violence, or SGBV. Our mission is to work at local, national and global levels to raise awareness, care for victims, encourage law enforcement and change our culture of tolerance and inaction.
If people of faith will not speak out, who will? You can start today by signing our Pledge against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence!
The History of We Will Speak Out U.S.
We Will Speak Out U.S. is an outgrowth of the We Will Speak Out global coalition, which was established in March 2011 at Lambeth Palace in London at the launch of Tearfund‘s ‘Silent No More‘ research report. The report highlighted the untapped potential and challenges of the worldwide church to prevent and respond to sexual violence.
Recognizing the both the prevalence of SGBV in the United States, as well as the potential for American organizations and congregations to influence change, WWSO Steering Committee Member IMA World Health launched We Will Speak Out U.S. to unite and amplify existing voices and programs throughout the U.S.
IMA World Health is a faith-based organization dedicated to advancing health for vulnerable and marginalized people around the world. Because SGBV is a public health concern affecting people physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, IMA recognizes the importance of addressing this issue domestically as well as through its international health projects.
1. World Health Organization. Global and regional estimates of violence against women. 2013
2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. 2010