Advocacy Efforts Focus on International Violence Against Women

June 27, 2012

The Honorable Jan Schakowsky
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative Schakowsky,

On behalf of the 134,000 members and affiliates of the American Psychological Association (APA), I am writing to thank you for your leadership in introducing the International Violence Against Women Act of 2012 (H.R. 5905).

As you know, domestic violence can result in significant mental and behavioral health consequences including depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, relationship problems, diminished self-esteem, social isolation, substance use disorders and suicidal behavior. It is crucial that our nation supports international communities in their prevention and appropriate response to violence against women and girls, thereby protecting vulnerable individuals and making progress towards global health goals. We applaud your leadership in introducing responsive legislation to address international domestic and sexual violence, and particularly appreciate the inclusion of provisions to support prevention and response services and training, data collection and analysis to determine the prevalence of violence, identification and/or development of evidence based interventions, and psychosocial assistance and trauma-informed services for survivors and their families.

We look forward to working with you in support of prompt enactment of the International Violence Against Women Act of 2012 (H.R. 5905). If we can be of further assistance, please contact Nida Corry, PhD, in our Public Interest Government Relations Office at (202) 336-5931.

Sincerely,

Gwendolyn Puryear Keita, PhD
Executive Director
Public Interest Directorate