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Robyn Shepherd, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666;

U.N. Expert On Violence Against Women Begins U.S. Fact-Finding Mission

ACLU Among Groups Meeting With Special Rapporteur

American Civil Liberties Union will join other organizations today in
meeting with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against
Women. The Special Rapporteur, Rashida Manjoo, arrived in the U.S.
Sunday on an official fact-finding mission to gather information on U.S.
policies concerning domestic violence, sexual assault in the military
and treatment of women in detention.

visit of the Special Rapporteur is a critical opportunity to shed light
on violence against women in the United States," said Sandra Park,
staff attorney with the ACLU Women's Rights Project. "We have made
progress, but victims of domestic violence and sexual assault continue
to encounter discrimination in employment, housing, education and the
military. We hope that the Special Rapporteur's visit provokes
much-needed dialogue about protecting victims, including the steps that
the government should take to stop the cycle of violence."

Special Rapporteur will meet with government officials, nongovernmental
organizations and members of Congress during her two-week visit. She
will also tour detention centers and shelters for victims of domestic
violence. A report on her findings is expected later this year.

order to be a leader on global human rights, the U.S. must ensure that
our own policies protect basic human dignity," said Jennifer Turner,
human rights researcher with the ACLU Human Rights Program. "We welcome
the Special Rapporteur's visit and look forward to working with her to
ensure that federal and state governments provide protection and
resources for victims of violence."

More information on the ACLU's work on violence against women can be found at:

More information from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights can be found at:


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