Global Hero of the Week: Senator Lisa Murkowski

Heroes: they come in all forms. They come to us under the guise of “survivor,” of “friend,” of “advocate.” And nowadays, more than ever, it seems everyone in the world could use a hero. Meet Together for Girls' hero of the week, Senator Lisa Murkowski.

In her 15 years as a U.S. Senator, Lisa Murkowski has never been afraid to tackle the tough issues or cross party lines to get things done. And when it comes to addressing violence, she knows we have work to do. Alaska reports some of the highest rates of domestic and sexual violence in the country, with reported rapes per capita about three times the national average, according to the FBI.

“Violence, abuse, and sexual assault affect my home state of Alaska in a serious way. That is why it’s so important that we stand up for the most vulnerable, and do everything humanly possible to put an end to the scourge of abuse and violence,” Sen. Murkowski said.

From championing the Violence Against Women Act to her leadership on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Murkowski has made ending violence a top priority. Her impressive list of legislative accomplishments include the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act in 2015, which enhanced protections for survivors of sexual trafficking, and the FAA Reauthorization bill, which required flight attendants be trained to identify human trafficking. Sen. Murkowski has also been a vocal supporter of addressing military sexual assault, voting for both the Victims Protection Act of 2014 and the Military Justice Improvement Act. She has also worked tirelessly to provide more support and resources for the women and children in her home state, most recently supporting culturally-appropriate community-driven violence prevention and treatment programs for Alaska Natives.

But Sen. Murkowski understands that we can’t address the problem if we’re not talking about it. “This is a difficult issue for many to discuss, but we cannot turn a blind eye and hope it goes away,” she said. That’s why, in 2015, she hosted a roundtable with University of Alaska-Anchorage (UAA) students to discuss issues of sexual assault, domestic violence, and harassment on campus. She has also used her platform to publicly condemn officials for mishandling rape cases on college campuses.

“I am incredibly humbled to be included among a group of amazing global leaders that is at the forefront to end violence against children around the world. This remains one of my top priorities as U.S. Senator. Through education, awareness, and the work of many, we will make a difference,” she said.

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