An official website of the United States government

The Obama Administration is Committed to Reducing and Eliminating Violence Against Women
June 3, 2011

Statement by the Delegation of the United States as the Country Concerned

Report by the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women,

on her January-February, 2011 Visit to the United States

Delivered by Political Counselor Mark J. Cassayre

Human Rights Council, Geneva

June 3, 2011


Thank you, Mr. President,

We thank Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo for her report on her 2011 visit to the United States.  The Special Rapporteur’s trip drew welcome attention to the issue of eliminating violence against women, a goal towards which the United States has devoted substantial resources at home and abroad.

The Obama Administration is committed to reducing and ultimately eliminating violence against women, and our efforts are wide-ranging.

Domestically, since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, the annual incidence of domestic violence has declined by more than fifty percent.  In June 2009, President Obama appointed the first ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, and the Administration has coordinated initiatives across numerous federal agencies in the effort to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.

Internationally the United States works with countries across a range of issues, including efforts to combat sexual violence, assist women living with HIV/AIDS, and reverse women’s lack of empowerment and participation in political decision-making.  We engage a variety of actors to support our efforts, including men and boys, civil society, religious leaders, and media representatives.  Additionally, the United States has supported the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, who has placed a welcome emphasis on combating violence against women.

We recognize that there is still much to do, however, to intervene in and ultimately prevent violence against women.  We strongly support Special Rapporteur Manjoo’s mandate and her work, and encourage all member state to cooperate with the human rights Special Rapporteurs.  These dedicated experts bring much-needed attention and action to some of the world’s worst human rights abuses.

The United States has some clarifications and observations on the Report’s findings, which we are pleased to submit.  We hope they are helpful.  Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this Report.

Thank you, Mr. President.