Sexual violence during armed conflicts and other situations of violence has long been widespread, with grave and far-reaching consequences – physical, psychological, social and spiritual – for victims and their communities. In 2013, the ICRC recognized the need to strengthen its response to sexual violence during conflict and other violence and to mobilize its staff to proactively address the issue. It launched a four-year initiative, covering the period 2013–2016, to expand and heighten its focus on responding to sexual violence. In 2017, the ICRC will build on the achievements and successes of previous years and help sustain the momentum around addressing this issue.The 2017 Special Appeal is the first appeal to be produced beyond the initial four-year initiative. It describes the activities planned at headquarters and field level that are specifically designed to address sexual violence, although many other activities carried out by the ICRC also contribute, indirectly, to this end.