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#ChooseToChallenge Domestic Violence this International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month, and All Year Long

March 8, 2021

A Statement by Deborah J. Vagins, NNEDV President and CEO 

On March 8, 2021, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) recognizes International Women’s Day, a global day to honor women and girls and the achievements of those who have led efforts for gender equality. Unfortunately, we are also marking a year of a global pandemic, with a grim milestone of approximately 2.59 million lives lost worldwide. COVID-19 has laid bare the gender and race-based disparities in health outcomes and economic opportunities. In the United States we have already seen that the impacts of this pandemic are disproportionately affecting women, particularly women of color.

While we have seen economic, social, and community supports unravel this year, we must remember that the system has been broken for a long time for many survivors and those living at the margins. And that is why we must continue to #ChooseToChallenge the status quo and ignore those who urge a “return to normal.”

We also must continue our efforts to change systems and create supportive communities for survivors of domestic violence. To that end, we have urged the new administration to take action. And today, we are excited that the Biden-Harris Administration has signed two new executive orders establishing a government-wide focus on uplifting the rights of women and girls in the United States and around the world. The administration will be issuing government-wide strategies in order to combat systemic bias and discrimination and address the intersecting needs of women and girls with respect to gender-based harassment and violence, employment, healthcare, education and more. This will benefit women and girls across the country, including survivors of domestic violence, all of whom deserve to live safe lives free from discrimination and harm.

This year has been a testament to the resiliency of survivors, advocates, local programs, and domestic violence coalitions. During this unprecedented time, we have continued to adapt to changing needs and considerations, all while continuing to center survivors’ basic rights to safety, privacy, and human dignity.

NNEDV will continue to #ChooseToChallenge domestic violence – today, for International Women’s Day, this month, for Women’s History Month, and all year long. We must keep moving forward, adapting, and working to support survivors, and each other, in new and innovative ways. Join us: