Violence Against Women

Violence Against Women

The ACLU strives for a world in which women and girls live free from violence by challenging discrimination against survivors of violence in housing, employment, and education, and by holding governments accountable for responding to and taking proactive measures to stop the cycle of violence.

Domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of gender-based violence deprive women and girls of their fundamental ability to live with dignity. Women and girls experience domestic violence and sexual assault at alarming rates. Governments, institutions, laws, and policies contribute to the systematic devaluation of the lives and safety of women and girls by failing to respond to gender-based violence and discriminating against those subject to such violence. 

Accountability by the government, employers, landlords and others, as well as recognition that discrimination against survivors is a form of sex discrimination, are essential to enable women and girls to live lives free from violence.

Additional Resources

Briggs v. Borough of Norristown et al. (2013 Case)

Written statement submitted by the ACLU to the Commission on the Status of Women (2012 PDF)

Creating a Safe Space in the Most Obvious Place: At Home (2011 blog): As a little girl from Kansas once said, “there’s no place like home,” and she was right. All of us may have a different notion of what “home” is, but ultimately we can agree home should be a place where we can feel comfortable and safe. Unfortunately for too many people who have experienced domestic violence, home isn’t safe. It is also regrettable that in many cases law enforcement officials, and in some cases our own government, have failed in their duty to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Arizona Law Says Choose Between Donations and Providing Care to Women (2011 blog): Just months after Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl made false and misleading statements about Planned Parenthood's prenatal services, Arizona is once again attacking groups that provide abortion information or services. The latest scheme: A law to rewrite the tax code to exclude any nonprofit organization that provides abortion referrals or counseling from receiving donations through the state's Working Poor Tax Credit Program. This law is so broad that it could prevent groups from even discussing abortion or other reproductive health services with women in crisis. In August 2011, we filed a lawsuit challenging that law.

Ending Domestic Violence Requires Holding Police Accountable (2011 blog): Are restraining orders just pieces of paper, or must the police take action when they are violated? This is the question raised by Valdez v. City of New York, a case challenging the failure of New York City police to enforce a domestic violence order of protection.

Valdez v. City of New York - Brief of Amici Curiae New York City Bar Association, American Civil Liberties Union et al. (2011 PDF)

Make My Case Count! (2011 blog)

Jessica Gonzales v. USA – IACHR Final Report (2011 PDF)

 

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