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Principles of Unity

Victimization of Women

We believe that violence against women is endemic to our society. By "violence against women" we refer to both specific and general abuse of women and children. In addition to murder, rape, battering, sexual harassment, pornography and other forms of physical violence, it also includes attitudes and values that create and reproduce violence.

Freedom from Violation

We believe that all women, children and families have the right to live a life free of violence or the threat of violence. They have the right to freedom from violations of their personal autonomy and physical integrity on the street, in the home and at the workplace. To insure this, women should not have to restrict their freedom of movement, their bodies or their activities in order to be safe.

Self-Determination

We believe that all women have the right to make their own decisions regarding sexual and reproductive matters, lifestyles, finances, education and employment. We support women in this journey by providing a broad range of services to assist them in reaching their full potential.

Leadership in Education and Change

We believe that the root causes of violence against women stem from a belief in the supremacy of one sex over the other and are legitimated and reproduced by a complex series of institutional and social arrangements that define and treat women as subordinate. CARDV actively works to provide leadership and education in order to bring about the changes necessary in society to reduce this violence.

Religious Freedom

Religious beliefs and practices are a matter of personal conscience and individual choice, and a member shall neither promote nor discourage a particular religious belief in the course of her/his work.

Unity of Community

We believe classism, racism, ableism, heterosexism, ageism and other forms of elitism are systems and attitudes separating from one another and interfere with the full use of our collective power base. CARDV does not condone these attitudes either in our policies or in our individual practices. Our membership is open to individuals of all backgrounds. We further recognize that survivors of violence represent an essential constituency in our movement. We strongly encourage full participation by survivors, particularly by those women CARDV has sheltered.