New initiative targets solutions for violence against women

Social gender-based violence is a global pandemic.

One in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime — mostly by an intimate partner — leading to long-term physical, mental and emotional health problems.

Considering this reality, the FIU Center for Women’s and Gender Studies has launched an initiative to advance solutions to prevent violence against women. The International Women, Gender and Violence Initiative is focused on prevention and education of the issues related to violence locally, nationally and globally.

“The safety of women from violence is an indicator of a nation’s stability,” said Suzanna Rose, founding associate provost for FIU’s Office to Advance Women, Equity & Diversity and affiliate faculty member with the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. “The estimated cost of intimate partner violence in the U.S. is estimated to be close to $6 billion annually. Violence against women is an national and international heath and safety issue that we no longer can afford to ignore.”

As part of the initiative, conferences are being planned to provide insight to frontline research on the barriers to reporting incidents of violence and abuse, including fear, language barriers, immigration policy, family identity and lack of support or resources and other issues contributing to violence against women. Through these conferences, the initiative will offer practitioners the chance to receive up-to-date knowledge about violence issues for continuing education credit/certification and opens opportunities for future collaborations to address violence against women and girls — not just in South Florida but all over the world.

The international focus of the initiative guides research centered on how to stop these trends of violence and, in some cases, their cultural acceptance. As a solutions-driver, the initiative is partnering with local organizations and shelters to develop progressive programs designed to end the cycle of abuse and serve as a model for creating centers across the United States and the world.

For more information about the International Women, Gender and Violence Initiative or to learn how you can help, visit