The Biden Administration Introduced a New Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, and So Far, It Looks Promising

by Emily Lauletta

Last week, The Biden Administration announced their national action plan to end gender-based violence. The plan defines gender-based violence 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.”

The report was written by the White House Gender Policy Council, which was created by President Biden after he signed an executive order in 2021.

Ending gender-based violence has been a key issue of President Biden’s platform for years now. Specifically since he authored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. This particular plan includes what the administration refers to as the seven main pillars: 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. This may result in “providing more support for survivors of gender-based violence, addressing online harassment and abuse, and conducting more robust research as well as collecting additional data on gender-based violence.

While it seems like politicians are always more talk than action, one promising aspect of this plan is that survivors of domestic violence were actively involved in its creation. According to the White House, “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.”

The White House Gender Policy Council also seems to have an active plan on implementing the above-mentioned seven pillars. The plan will require the involvement of several federal government agencies, who will meet regularly in a Federal Interagency Working Group to discuss the steps of the plan. The four methods of which these agencies will roll out the plan include strategic planning and budgeting, policy and program development, measurement and data and management, and training.

While the national action plan to end gender-based violence is still in its infancy, The concrete steps the council have laid out as well as the knowledge that the plan has been guided by those most affected by this issue gives us hope that its implementation will be effective.

Of course, gender-based violence is not an issue that will be solved overnight, advocates to end DV and gender-based violence have been working hard to dismantle this form of systemic violence one step at a time, and we’re very thankful for that. Action plans such as these are becoming increasingly more important as violence against women remains a huge problem, and violence against trans people is on the rise.

Top photo: Caleb Perez on Unsplash

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