White House Appoints Lynn Rosenthal Advisor on Violence Against Women

Taking a definite step towards strong support of women’s issues, Vice President Joe Biden announced last week that Lynn Rosenthal has been appointed the new White House Advisor on Violence Against Women. The position will be an enormous help to women and women’s groups looking for change at the federal level on violence against women. The position is described in the White House press release:

In this new position, Ms. Rosenthal will serve as an advisor to the President and Vice President on domestic violence and sexual assault issues; be a liaison to the domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy community; coordinate with the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) on implementation of Violence Against Women Act programs; coordinate with the Department of Health and Human Services on implementation of Family Violence Prevention Act services (including the National Domestic Violence Hotline); coordinate with the State Department and USAID on global domestic violence initiatives; and drive the development new initiatives and policy aimed at combating domestic violence and sexual assault with advocacy groups and members of Congress.

Most recently, Ms. Rosenthal served as Executive Director of the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Other past positions include six years as the Executive Director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and director of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  Ms. Rosenthal has dedicated her life to helping the lives of battered women and children, and her work can only become more influential in her new position.

“Lynn Rosenthal has been a life-long advocate for women and she has been a real leader in developing effective policies to combat domestic violence,” said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Engagement. “She will be a tremendous asset to the President, Vice President and the entire Administration as we continue the battle against domestic violence and sexual assault.”

We hope that Ms. Rosenthal will help the Obama Administration develop new policies and gain support for women who are victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault.

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3 Responses to White House Appoints Lynn Rosenthal Advisor on Violence Against Women

  1. Pingback: President Obama Proclaims January to be National Stalking Awareness Month | Women's Law Project Blog

    On June 26, 2009, Vice President Biden named Lynn Rosenthal as White House Advisor on Violence Against Women (VAW). Rosenthal has championed the movement against domestic and sexual violence for three decades, leading the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) from 2000 to 2006. Most recently, she served as executive director of the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Previously, she played a major advocacy role in reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and assisted states and communities with its implementation. For the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, she developed service models and created the state’s first comprehensive plan to help survivors find housing. She has also worked with corporate partners to promote economic empowerment for survivors and to bring millions of dollars in aid to communities in responding to domestic violence.
    Ms. Lynn Rosenthal
    White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

    Dear Ms. Rosenthal,
    As you are aware, domestic violence is a matter of life and death for millions of women. There simply is no excuse for domestic violence resources to fail to assist victims in need—yet each month, it is estimated that thousands of abused women are turned away from state and federally funded domestic violence coalitions and shelters each month. These victims have no recourse when this happens, and no place to report their experiences or grievances.

    The cold, hard reality is that these victims are falling through the cracks—ignored by the very organizations whose mission it is to assist them. Because of this failure, a growing number of victims are reaching out to Survivors In Action (SIA), a non-profit national advocacy group that provides individual assistance to victims of domestic abuse.

    Ms. Rosenthal, given your extraordinary qualifications and clear commitment to preventing domestic violence, SIA is encouraged by your appointment as White House Advisor. Your appointment signals recognition at the highest levels of government that now is the time for real change and domestic violence resource reform. Without such reform, more victims will be subject to what advocates and victims now refer to as “The DV Run Around,” and more will die.

    We believe the DV Run Around occurs in large part because there is so little oversight of how funds are used by the thousands of state and federally funded domestic violence organizations and no assessment of whether these organizations are meeting victims’ needs. Accordingly, SIA is leading a two-pronged movement for national domestic violence resource reform:

    • First, we are advocating that the government audit the federal grants and other funds that domestic violence organizations receive to determine how these funds are being used and to ensure accountability.
    • Second, we are advocating the creation of a Federal Domestic Violence Oversight Committee to oversee state and federally funded domestic violence organizations and provide victims a place to document their experiences and file complaints.

    As evidence of increasing public recognition of the urgent need for measures like these, we have obtained more than 1,000 signatures on our petition for Domestic Violence Resource Reform in just a matter of weeks.

    As stated by Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler, “At a time when domestic, dating and sexual violence are pervasive problems that touch every community, and on average three women are murdered each day by their husbands or boyfriends, we need renewed attention to this issue and increased resources for victims and prevention measures.”

    Ms. Rosenthal, I can’t express this any more clearly than Ms. Soler has in her statement above. The victims of domestic violence desperately need—and SIA respectfully requests—your support for the above measures. Please stand up for these reforms now.

    Thank you so much for your attention and concern.


    Alexis A. Moore
    Survivors In Action
    “No Victim Left Behind”

    What is Survivors In Action?
    Survivors In Action (SIA) is a non-profit national advocacy group that supports victims and the families of victims of any crime, including domestic violence, identity theft, elder abuse, cyber-stalking, stalking, child abuse, rape, and sexual assault, Other national organizations typically help victims at specific points in their abusive experience cycle—such as when they first report the abuse or in writing parole opposition letters—leaving “gaps” in needed services. SIA is the only organization that fills the gaps, providing support through all stages of the journey from victim to survivor, with no time limitations, cut-off dates, or conditions. Our mission is to ensure that no victim anywhere in the nation is left behind.

  3. Brian Namey says:

    The National Network to End Domestic Violence is thrilled with the creation of this position and Lynn’s appointment to it. This is such a re-assuring step that President Obama’s administration is deeply committed to supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence. http://nnedv.org/news/national/283-vaw-advisor.html

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