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3rd Oct


Peace, Justice, & Faith Leaders make urgent call for more funding to end intimate violence

Release Date: October 3, 2013, Washington D.C.
Contact: Shireen Mitchell,, tel: 202-642-1881

The dearth of funding devoted to ending intimate violence is shocking. According to a recent Foundation Center report on global human rights, less than one percent is allocated to domestic violence – even though the 2013 World Health Organization report shows that it kills or harms one in three women worldwide.

In support of U.S. Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV) calls for funding to stop this pandemic. SAIV Global Council leaders also call on other leaders and the public to break cycles of violence in families and the family of nations by raising their voice to stop the immorality of intimate violence.

“I call on men and boys everywhere to take a stand against the mistreatment of girls and women. It is by standing up for the rights of girls and women that we truly measure up as men.”

-Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“Intimate and international violence are as tightly interconnected as the fingers of a closed fist.”

Dr. Riane Eisler, SAIV co-founder with Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams

“Conflicts raging across the Middle East today cannot be resolved without deliberate efforts to engage women and confront sexual violence.”

-Queen Noor of Jordan

The 18 month suspension of the Violence against Women Act funding, U.S. federal funding sequestration, and austerity policies in states and globally have made the situation even more dire. Agencies with decades of outstanding leadership across the US and the globe, many based in faith communities, are in danger of extinction.
Yet in the U.S., only a few grantors such as the NoVo Foundation and a handful of local community and private donors are funding intimate violence counseling and prevention programs. As SAIV shows, this investment is essential for the well-being of humankind and our planet. SAIV leaders call on foundations and policy makers to invest significantly in ending the pandemic of intimate violence.

Research reveals that during a trauma, victims are five times more likely to seek the aid of clergy than any other professional. Clergy are people they know and trust.” This is especially true for victims of abuse from rural, immigrant, and communities of color. Yet funding for effective faith leadership to respond to and prevent intimate violence is precarious at best.

Rev. Dr. Anne Marie Hunter, Director of Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence points out, “Faith communities can play a unique and critical role in responding to victims of intimate violence, preventing violence in the next generation, and confronting the social systems that support such violence.”

About the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV)

SAIV was co-founded by Dr. Riane Eisler and Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams in 2004, as a project of the Center for Partnership Studies ( Together, they assembled a Global Council of religious, political and scientific leaders from all major religions on five continents. These diverse women and men provide a moral voice and share the vision of a human family where all members are respected, valued, and safe from violence. SAIV engages spiritual leaders, policy makers, and activists to join SAIV to advocate for increased resources to end this global pandemic of violence against women and children.

Through the new website, blog, and social media sites, SAIV invites contributions from the public and faith communities for engagement to “break cycles of violence in families – and the families of nations.” To date, resources on the site include the new Domestic Violence and Religion special collection of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Dr. Eisler’s videos for teaching and discussion about moving from domination to partnership systems, the “Caring and Connected Parenting Guide” by Licia Rando and endorsed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Desmond Tutu and Betty Williams, pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton, among others, and much more.


Karen McLean Hessel, M. Div, Program Advisor for SAIV, tel: 207-939-2242

Riane Eisler, JD, President, Center for Partnership Studies, tel: 831-624-8337

Shireen Mitchell, Board member, Center for Partnership Studies, Co-Chair, National Council of Women’s Organizations, founder, Digital Sisters, tel: 202-642-1881

Get Involved

Get in touch with SAIV and speak out against Domestic Violence.

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