Readout of HHS Secretary Becerra’s Roundtable Meeting with Organizations Supporting Survivors of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking
Secretary Becerra Reiterated the Biden-Harris Administration’s Commitment to Center the Needs of Survivors of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking
On Wednesday, April 26th, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra participated in a roundtable discussion with organizations working with HHS’ new Office of Family Violence Prevention and Services (OFVPS) and the Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) to support survivors of domestic violence in local communities. At the meeting, Secretary Becerra was joined by Rosie Hidalgo from the White House Gender Policy Council, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Assistant Secretary January Contreras, Director of the Office on Trafficking in Person (OTIP) Katherine Chon, and Director of the Office of Family Violence Prevention and Services (OFVPS) Shawndell Dawson.
The Biden-Harris Administration has made historic progress in centering the needs of survivors of domestic violence. The group discussed the establishment of the new Office of Family Violence Prevention and Services (OFVPS) in HHS and the role it will play in developing more integrated service models around violence and abuse across HHS agencies and divisions. This new office will extend ACF’s commitment to prevention programs, survivor services, and a whole-family approach to delivering resources and support programs for survivors. The group also discussed working together to develop additional strategies for expanding supports for survivors within local communities and health and behavioral health programs.
In 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration allocated close to $1 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to support survivors of domestic violence – and for the first time - sexual assault services. This funding included an investment in domestic violence shelters, supportive services, tribes, culturally specific programs, rape crisis centers, and sexual assault programs to support sexual assault survivors impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. These funds will remain available until expended through September 30, 2025.
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to implementing programs that proactively address the underlying causes that put people at risk for violence and investing in essential services that strengthen safety, stability, and self-sufficiency.
The following participants joined the roundtable:
- Xavier Becerra, HHS Secretary
- Rosie Hidalgo, Senior Advisor on Gender-Based Violence and Special Assistant to the President, White House Gender Policy Council
- Assistant Secretary January Contreras, Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
- Katherine Chon, Director of the Office on Trafficking in Person (OTIP), ACF
- Shawndell Dawson, Director of the Office of Family Violence Prevention and Services (OFVPS), ACF
- Meg Sullivan, Counselor to the Secretary
- Jennifer Longmire-Wright, Acting Director and Deputy Director at Free Aware Inspired Restored (FAIR) Girls, Washington D.C.
- Karma Cottman, Chief Executive Office at Ujima Inc.: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community
- Sala Fuchs, Chief Operating Officer at the National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Paula Fitzgerald, Executive Director at Ayuda
- Shannon Holsey, President of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians and Co-Chair of the National Congress of American Indians Violence Against Women Act Task Force
- Casey Swegman, Director of Public Policy at Tahirih Justice Center
- Eskinder Negash, President and CEO at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants