New National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence Is Transformational

The new National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, set to be unveiled today at the White House, “represents the most transformational policy development in the U.S. on this topic since the 1994 Violence Against Women Act,” according to Michele R. Decker, a professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an expert on gender-based violence (GBV).

Decker said:

“It is a new day. This comprehensive strategy represents a striking divergence from our historical focus solely on the criminalization of gender-based violence. It moves us to a holistic approach that prioritizes both prevention and response. Women’s lives are on the line.”

“The evidence is clear: Gender-based violence will not end through criminalization alone. This fuller, comprehensive strategy allows us to apply decades of learning on prevention, survivor support, racial and ethnic disparities, and accountability – all in service to violence prevention and better meeting the needs of survivors.”


Michele Decker, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Decker is a leader in public health approaches to gender-based violence prevention. She leads a portfolio of research on GBV prevalence, health and social impact, and innovative interventions in close collaboration with practitioners and those most affected by GBV. She is the founding instructor for the Bloomberg School’s GBV training. She chairs the steering committee for the Violence Focal Area of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, where she holds an endowed professorship.

National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence

According to White House officials, the National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence “advances an unprecedented and comprehensive approach to preventing and addressing sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and other forms of gender-based violence (referred to collectively as GBV), through a life course, intersectional approach. Following remarks from Assistant to the President and Director of the Gender Policy Council Jennifer Klein, this event will feature two roundtable discussions. During the first roundtable, leaders from key federal agencies will highlight the role of their agencies in strengthening ongoing federal action and interagency collaboration to advance the goals of the National Plan through a whole-of-government approach. During the second roundtable, survivors, advocates, and other leaders from civil society, including community-based organizations and private sector organizations, will discuss the importance of mobilizing a whole of society approach to prevent and address GBV.” 


Decker is available for comment on Wednesday, May 31 after 2 pm, following the launch.