Working Together to Reduce Gender-Based Violence Here and Around the World

July 1, 2021

There are no more dedicated public servants than the team here at OVW, but our office alone cannot end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Those of you working in the field understand exactly how complex, comprehensive, and intersectional the response to gender-based violence must be to succeed.

We consistently hear from survivors about the multifaceted barriers they face, the need for economic and housing support, the challenges accessing systems intended to help, the lack of justice – in whichever way they choose to define justice. Every federal agency has a role to play, not just in responding but also in preventing gender-based violence.

That is why we are so excited about yesterday’s announcement that the United States has joined global partners – including governments, civil society, and the private sector – in making commitments as part of the Generation Equality Forum. The commitments laid out in this White House fact sheet demonstrate a broad government-wide approach to reducing gender-based violence and to working together here in the U.S. and around the world.

The Generation Equality Forum, convened by UN Women, isn’t just an opportunity for the U.S. government to respond – it also offers an opportunity for your organization or you as an individual to participate and share your perspective.

While tremendous progress has been made in addressing gender-based violence, serious gaps remain and deep-seated inequities must be addressed. The Biden-Harris Administration’s domestic and global priorities include policy and resource commitments to prevent and respond to all forms of gender-based violence; strengthen women’s economic security; and protect and advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Supporting the effort at the White House is The Gender Policy Council (GPC), established by President Biden to advance gender equity and equality in both domestic and foreign policy development and implementation. The GPC covers a range of issues—including economic security, health, gender-based violence and education—with a focus on gender equity and equality, and particular attention to the barriers faced by women and girls. It also plays an essential role in the President’s efforts to advance equity in government policy for those who face discrimination and bias based on multiple factors—including members of the Black, Latina, Native American, AAPI, and LGBTQI+ communities, as well as persons with disabilities.

One of the commitments the Biden-Harris Administration has already delivered is an historic request for $1 billion to support Violence Against Women Act programs in the FY 2022 President’s Budget — a 95% increase over FY 2021 enacted levels. That request includes a comprehensive response to gender-based violence – including transitional housing, legal assistance, prevention, and culturally specific services. OVW is eager to deepen our response to gender-based violence, including prioritizing innovative and community-based approaches.

Ending sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking requires an effort that is so much broader than any one of us. OVW stands ready to do its part to support this work across the nation and the globe.

To all the survivors out there – please know we hear you. Many of us are survivors as well. Though OVW cannot help in any individual cases and does not provide direct services, we are doing everything possible to create systemic change and to fund an array of victim services across the country. If you need assistance, or want to know how to help a loved one, please contact one of the excellent national hotlines:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

StrongHearts Native Helpline

National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Teen Dating Violence Helpline

Victim Connect Resource Center

For more information about preventing gender-based violence, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations to prevent sexual violence and intimate partner violence.

You can find information for your state, territorial, or tribal coalition against sexual and/or domestic violence on our resources page.

Learn more about OVW’s our wide range of grant programs here.

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Updated July 1, 2021