The White House has announced the first national plan to end gender-based violence, following up on years of federal legislation to address the issue and provide safety to those affected.
The report defines gender-based violence (GBV) as “any harmful threat or act directed at an individual or group based on actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity, sex characteristics, or sexual orientation.” It includes areas like sexual violence like rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment, domestic violence, stalking and some forms of human trafficking, family violence, sexual exploitation, gender-related hate crimes.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to announce the launch of the first-ever U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, a critical roadmap to guide the Federal government’s future efforts to address and prevent GBV,” the White House tweeted Thursday. “Freedom from domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of gender-based violence is a basic human right.”
The report was created by the White House Gender Policy Council, a body that President Biden created by executive order in March 2021 to focus on gender equality and equity in domestic and foreign policy. The council previously created a national strategy on gender equity and equality in October 2021.
The report notes efforts to address gender-based violence as early as the 1970s and federal legislation like the Violence Against Women Act, which required jurisdictions to adhere to protection orders issued anywhere in the country and recognize crossing state lines to commit domestic abuse as a federal crime.
The report lays out seven pillars as part of the federal strategy to oppose gender-based violence — prevention; support, healing, safety and well-being; economic security and housing stability; online safety; legal and justice systems; emergency preparedness and crisis response; and research and data.
Each pillar in the plan is broken down into a few more specific goals and a couple more tailored objectives within those goals. Some of those goals include increasing public awareness of the issue, further investing in research to increase data collection on people’s experiences, ensuring survivors have access to safe, affordable and long-term housing and expanding the options that survivors have to seek justice.
The White House said in a release that the plan is guided by the lessons learned and progress made from the “leadership” of survivors, advocates, researchers, policymakers and community members who lead efforts to prevent and respond to the violence.
Their memo states that the plan will require all aspects of the federal government to work together to implement the goals. The federal partners involved will collaborate through a GBV Federal Interagency Working Group, which will regularly meet to advance the plan’s implementation, according to the report.
Federal agencies will implement the plan through four methods — strategic planning and budgeting, policy and program development, measurement and data and management and training.
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