White House unveils plan to end gender-based violence

Blue Shield of California Foundation celebrates comprehensive approach including prevention

May 25, 2023

Today, the White House Gender Policy Council released the first-ever National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence: Strategies for Action. The White House plan offers a comprehensive approach to ending domestic violence that serves as a framework for states to follow. 

Domestic violence is everywhere, but it is not inevitable. It is healable, and preventable, and we all have a role to play in ending it. 

We’ve learned that domestic violence is interrelated to many deeply rooted social problems; for example, economic conditions that keep people in low-wage jobs without benefits, and a lack of affordable housing.

We need to address the social drivers that put people at risk, especially women of color with low incomes who have less access to systems that provide support for families.

While it is critical to reduce risk, it is equally important to support survivors and families experiencing domestic violence today. Because every time a survivor, family member and harm-doer is able to heal, it stops a cycle of violence. The impact these cycle-breakers have on the world ripples outwards — healing for one generation is prevention for the next.

The White House’s plan addresses both the immediate needs of domestic violence survivors and service providers, and also offers a comprehensive approach to ending domestic violence. It contains a commitment by multiple federal agencies to continue this work, and do more, recognizing that systems work better when they work together.  

Since no one lives a single-issue life, we need to move away from single-issue services for domestic violence survivors and their families. To be most effective, public and private systems such as housing and economic security, at the state and federal levels, should be designed to help the whole person and the whole family. By supporting families in many aspects of their lives and addressing the root causes of domestic violence, we can prevent it from happening in the first place. 

The national plan challenges and requires federal systems to do just that. We are fortunate to live in California, a state that is moving in this direction already, but gaps remain to be addressed. We hope that this national call to action will be mirrored at the state level, and we look forward to working with state government and stakeholders in multiple sectors toward a vision of freedom from gender-based violence for all.

The progress to end domestic violence would not be possible without our partners at ValorUS, Futures Without Violence, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Women’s Foundation California, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence, with whom we worked on contributing policy recommendations to the plan. 

We greatly appreciate the leadership of President Biden, who was an early champion of addressing violence against women, Jennifer Klein, director of the White House Gender Policy Council, Rosie Hidalgo, senior advisor to the White House on gender-based violence, Carrie Bettinger-Lopez, advisor on violence against women, office of the vice president, Lynn Rosenthal, director of sexual and gender-based violence at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Allison Randall, principal deputy director, Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice. In California, we are grateful for the vision and support of Governor Newsom and the first partner for moving domestic violence prevention forward in California with initiatives such as Domestic Violence Housing First and their strong commitment to gender equity.

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Blue Shield of California Foundation supports lasting and equitable solutions to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence. When we work together to remove the barriers to health and well-being, especially for Californians most affected, we can create a more just and equitable future.

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