Lynn Rosenthal Named White House Adviser on Violence Against Women
By the Associated Press
A longtime advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault was named to a new post Friday as a White House adviser on violence against women.
In announcing the appointment of Lynn Rosenthal, Vice President Biden said that creating the job allows the White House to revive a focus on domestic violence issues -- which Biden said were not at the forefront during the Bush administration.
"What I'm about to say is not a knock or a criticism on the last administration or anybody else," Biden said, but "one of the sins of omission is this has not been a front and center issue for the last eight years on the national agenda. It used to be."
The White House said Rosenthal will advise President Obama and Biden and work with government agencies to ensure that violence against women isn't ignored and the perpetrators are held accountable.
A former director of a women's shelter, Rosenthal was executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence from 2000 to 2006. And she worked as director of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Biden said domestic violence was a priority when the Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994, allowing for increased funding for women's shelters and law-enforcement training. Biden crafted the law during his time on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Then-President George W. Bush signed an extension of the Violence Against Women Act in 2006. The extension included new provisions on health care, early intervention and outreach to American Indian women.
Biden said Rosenthal will be coordinating with several agencies, including Justice, State, and Health and Health and Human Services.
"I think the first thing we got to do is just put this back in play, just get it up on the agenda. Get every secretary in the Cabinet thinking about it," Biden said to a room full of advocates against domestic violence.
The National Organization for Women cites figures that show women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes every year, and 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006.
NOW president Kim Gandy, who took part in a panel discussion about domestic violence after Biden spoke, said, "It's extremely important to have advocacy at the highest level of government for both prevention and services related to the extraordinary epidemic."
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