When women and girls live free from the threat of sexual violence, they can live healthier, happier lives. Yet, rape and sexual abuse continue to be everyday violent occurrences, affecting close to a billion women and girls over their lifetimes.   

And despite the pervasiveness of these crimes, laws on sexual violence are insufficient, inconsistent, not systematically enforced and, sometimes, promote violence. Girls face overwhelming challenges in obtaining justice.

Unless governments fix their laws on rape and sexual assault and implement them effectively and sensitively, we are unlikely to see an end to this worldwide abuse of women and girls.

Call on governments to comprehensively look at their laws relating to rape, sexual violence, and abuse. Laws and legal systems around the world need to be amended to prevent sexual violence, to ensure justice if it happens and to promote equality.

Achieving legal equality gives women and girls a level playing field from which to make their own choices, build their capabilities and achieve their hopes and dreams.

Tell world leaders to #LeveltheLaw! Sign #TheWorldsShame petition!

Equality Now is an international human rights organization that works to protect and promote the rights of women and girls around the world. You can learn more about their work here and read their recently published report The World’s Shame – The Global Rape Epidemic: How Laws Around the World are Failing to Protect Women and Girls from Sexual Violence.