Biden Announces White House Advisor on Violence Against Women

ABC News' Karen Travers reports:

Vice President Biden announced today that Lynn Rosenthal will be the White House adviser on Violence Against Women, a new position created to work with the president and vice president on domestic violence and sexual assault issues.

Joining Biden for the announcement was Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Engagement.

Rosenthal most recently served as the executive director of the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence and has focused on domestic violence issues like housing, state and local coordinated community response, federal policy, and survivor-centered advocacy.

From 2000-2006, she served as the executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence and played a key role in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2000 and 2005.

Biden called the work Rosenthal will do in this new position "incredibly consequential” and joked that he had already given her an assignment on her first day.

“And Valerie looked at me and was like, give her a break!” he said to laughter from the assembled audience of advocates against domestic violence.

The vice president said that when he and President Obama discussed who they wanted to take on this role, they said it had to be someone who would "literally, not figuratively" go to bed every night thinking about what can be done to protect women from violence.

Biden said there are 48 million reported cases of violence done by an intimate partner and said that while there's no count on how many are unreported, more women are coming out of the shadows.

"The worst imprisonment in the whole world is to be imprisoned in your own home," the vice president said. "The most vicious of all crimes are domestic crimes."

He said the Obama administration wants to put this issue higher on the agenda than it has been in recent years, but said that was not a “knock or criticism” of the Bush administration.

Biden said that in announcing this new advisor role "an ambition, desire has come true."

Biden said that the group the administration has assembled to work on this issue, led by Jarrett and Rosenthal, is “one hell of a team.” He quickly corrected himself and said “heck of a team.” When the audience laughed he said that is why he should just stick to the teleprompter.

-- Karen Travers

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