Friday, July 19

U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome at the Inauguration Ceremony of Anti-Rape Crisis Cell

U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome at the Inauguration Ceremony of Anti-Rape Crisis Cell

U.S. Ambassador Donald Blome at the Inauguration Ceremony of Anti-Rape Crisis CellOn behalf of the government and people of the United States, thank you for inviting me to join you in launching Punjab’s first Anti-Rape Crisis Cell to assist victims and survivors of sexual violence.

Gender-based violence is a public safety and a public health crisis. It affects suburban, urban and rural communities alike. It is experienced by individuals of all backgrounds and can occur at any point in a person’s life.
Both of our countries have made significant progress to expand services and legal protections for survivors, but much work remains to be done. In the United States, President Biden is advancing a comprehensive, government-wide effort to prevent and address sexual and gender-based violence. This holistic approach is guided by lessons learned and progress made through the tireless and courageous leadership of gender-based violence survivors, advocates, researchers, policymakers, and other dedicated professionals and community members who lead prevention and response efforts.
Likewise, here in Pakistan, consistent lobbying, education, and advocacy contributed to the progress that we are celebrating here today. Pakistan’s first ever Anti-Rape Crisis Center was launched earlier this year in Karachi and now [in] Multan [we are] launching Punjab’s first Anti-Rape Crisis Center.
Here, at Multan’s Nishtar Hospital, the talented and compassionate staff are trained to protect victims and provide them with the medical care. They also learn how to conduct proper evidence collection and reporting to help hold offenders accountable and to bring justice to victims.
I commend the Government of Pakistan for authorizing the creation of another 67 Anti-Rape Crisis Cells at government hospitals in Islamabad, Punjab, and Sindh.
To the medical providers conducting this work, please know how deeply I respect and appreciate the work that you do. The care and attention you provide helps your patients navigate some of the most difficult moments of their lives.

Thank you also to our partners at UN Women. This new center exemplifies what we can accomplish when we join forces to combat gender-based violence. It’s not only in our mutual interest. It’s the right thing to do. And it resonates deeply with our shared values of justice, equality, and respect for all.
To all those who made today’s opening possible, thank you and congratulations.
The United States is committed to continue working with Pakistan to support the thousands of people who survive these crimes each year. We’re grateful to partner with all of you on these important efforts.
Thank you very much!

Sub-Editor: Arslan Majeed