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Monday, July 22, 2024

Readout of White House Roundtable with Survivors on Guns and Domestic Violence

Readout of White House Roundtable with Survivors on Guns and Domestic Violence

Today, Assistant to the President and Director of the Gender Policy Council Jennifer Klein, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention Stefanie Feldman, and Deputy Assistant to the President and Counsel to the Vice President Erica Songer met with survivors to hear first-hand accounts of the devastating impact of gun-related domestic violence. The group also discussed how the Biden-Harris Administration can continue its fight to ensure that all Americans, including those vulnerable to gender-based violence, are safe from gun violence.

Gender-based violence and gun violence are deeply—and often fatally—interconnected, impacting millions of individuals, particularly women of color, LGBTQI+ individuals, and women with disabilities, as well as whole families and communities. The presence of firearms significantly increases the risk of death or serious injury for survivors of domestic or dating violence.

Senior Administration officials underscored the President and Vice President’s deep commitment to ending gender-based violence and gun violence—as well as actions that the Administration has already taken to address its intersections. Nearly thirty years ago, as a United States Senator, President Biden championed the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has: strengthened VAWA in its 2022 reauthorization; enacted the President’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which narrowed the so-called “boyfriend loophole” by prohibiting dating partners convicted of domestic violence from purchasing or possessing firearms; supported the enactment of extreme risk protection orders; and assisted efforts to remove firearms from individuals convicted of domestic abuse or subject to domestic violence protection orders. Last year, the Administration also released the first-ever U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence to prevent and address domestic violence, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and other forms of gender-based violence, including effective strategies to strengthen efforts to reduce gun-related violence.

Survivors—who were joined by representatives of advocacy organizations fighting to end both gender-based violence and gun violence—shared their stories of surviving violence at this lethal intersection, the harm caused by access to firearms, and ways that they, and other leaders in the field, can work together, alongside the White House, to end gun-related domestic violence. Participants also discussed current needs to ensure every survivor can access safety, healing, and justice. The roundtable was held as the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of a federal law that helps keep guns out of the hands of individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders—a commonsense gun safety law that has been on the books for nearly 30 years.

The following survivors provided remarks during the roundtable:

  • Mayor Sheng Thao, Oakland, CA
  • Ruth Glenn, Survivor Justice Action
  • T. Christian Heyne, Brady: United Against Gun Violence
  • Penny Page
  • Lisette Johnson

In addition, representatives from the following organizations participated in the meeting:

  • National Network to End Domestic Violence
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Ujima, Inc., The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
  • Esperanza United
  • Battered Women’s Justice Project
  • Brady: United Against Gun Violence
  • Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Jewish Women International
  • Community Justice Action Fund

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Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2024/03/26/readout-of-white-house-roundtable-with-survivors-on-guns-and-domestic-violence/

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