National Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month, 2021, 17685-17687 [2021-07178]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Presidential Documents 17685 Presidential Documents Proclamation 10170 of March 31, 2021 National Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month, 2021 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation Sexual assault, at its core, is a devastating abuse of power—one that affects people of every age, race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, socioeconomic background, and religion. It is the responsibility of each of us to stand up and speak out against it, not only to improve the laws and services available to survivors, but also to change the culture and attitudes that allow sexual assault to proliferate. Together, we must work toward a society that upholds every person’s right to live free from sexual violence—where our institutions and communities commit to preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment, supporting survivors, and holding offenders accountable. The pandemic has exacerbated the already harrowing challenges facing sexual assault survivors by making it more difficult or risky for them to seek help. Victims may be reluctant to go to the hospital for a medical forensic exam because of the risk of COVID–19 exposure; rape crisis centers and other social service providers have struggled to maintain their services while adopting necessary public health protocols; and survivors are often isolated from loved ones, friends, or co-workers who might be in the best position to provide support. As we race to stop the spread of this devastating virus, we must strengthen our efforts to support sexual assault survivors whose suffering may be compounded by this pandemic, as well as by the economic crisis that has further undermined their economic security and taken a toll on service providers. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PRESDOC6 We also must recognize that sexual assault was already a public health crisis even before the pandemic struck. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, done by the CDC, one in five women has been a victim of a completed or attempted rape at some point in her lifetime. Research has revealed a strong link between sexual violence and chronic disease, as well as greater long-term economic burdens on survivors of sexual assault. The trauma of assault is further compounded by the high costs of medical and mental health care, navigating the criminal justice system, and lost productivity. My Administration stands with survivors, and is committed to alleviating the public health crisis of sexual assault. As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), we included $450 million in supplemental funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services, including rape crisis centers. Recognizing the added barriers faced by survivors from historically marginalized communities—particularly survivors who are Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color—the ARP includes new funding to support community-based organizations to provide culturally-specific services for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. I am also proud to have created the first-ever White House Gender Policy Council, through an Executive Order that I signed on International Women’s Day. In addition to its work to bring a whole-of-government approach to gender equity in every policy we pursue, this Council will help coordinate VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:56 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\06APD5.SGM 06APD5 17686 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Presidential Documents Federal agencies to develop a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. I have also established an independent review commission that will provide recommendations to help guide the development of new policies and enforcement measures in keeping with my Administration’s unwavering commitment to improving the response to, and prevention of, sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military. To strengthen our national commitment to end gender-based violence, we must also renew and further improve the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Writing and championing the passage of VAWA as a Senator is one of my proudest legislative accomplishments—it is a law that has transformed the way our country responds to sexual assault and intimate partner violence. With each reauthorization, I have worked with the Congress to expand VAWA’s provisions on a bipartisan basis to improve protections, including for Native American women, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, as well as immigrant survivors and survivors from communities of color and other underserved groups. I applaud the House of Representatives for recently passing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 with bipartisan support, and I urge the Senate to follow their lead to renew and strengthen this landmark law immediately. Through this legislation, we can continue to support Federal programs with a proven track record of helping survivors heal, strengthen the coordinated community response, improve the response of the criminal justice system, and provide additional pathways to safety by supporting innovative programs and prevention efforts. We have made important strides thanks to courageous survivors and dedicated advocates. This month, we honor the strength and resilience of sexual assault survivors, and we recommit ourselves to standing with them for safety, dignity, and justice. There is still much work to do, and it will take all of us to do it. This year’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is an opportunity for every person, employer, school, sports team, faith-based organization, and institution to come together and commit to being part of the solution. We must rededicate ourselves to creating a society where sexual violence—including sexual assault and sexual harassment— is not tolerated, where survivors are supported, and where all people have an opportunity to thrive without fear of abuse or assault. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PRESDOC6 NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2021 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to support victims when they reach out and disclose abuse. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:56 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\06APD5.SGM 06APD5 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Presidential Documents 17687 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortyfifth. [FR Doc. 2021–07178 Filed 4–5–21; 8:45 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:56 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\06APD5.SGM 06APD5 BIDEN.EPS</GPH> khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PRESDOC6 Billing code 3295–F1–P

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 64 (Tuesday, April 6, 2021)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 17685-17687]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07178]




                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 17685]]


                Proclamation 10170 of March 31, 2021

                
National Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness 
                Month, 2021

                By the President of the United States of America

                A Proclamation

                Sexual assault, at its core, is a devastating abuse of 
                power--one that affects people of every age, race, sex, 
                gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, 
                socioeconomic background, and religion. It is the 
                responsibility of each of us to stand up and speak out 
                against it, not only to improve the laws and services 
                available to survivors, but also to change the culture 
                and attitudes that allow sexual assault to proliferate. 
                Together, we must work toward a society that upholds 
                every person's right to live free from sexual 
                violence--where our institutions and communities commit 
                to preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment, 
                supporting survivors, and holding offenders 
                accountable.

                The pandemic has exacerbated the already harrowing 
                challenges facing sexual assault survivors by making it 
                more difficult or risky for them to seek help. Victims 
                may be reluctant to go to the hospital for a medical 
                forensic exam because of the risk of COVID-19 exposure; 
                rape crisis centers and other social service providers 
                have struggled to maintain their services while 
                adopting necessary public health protocols; and 
                survivors are often isolated from loved ones, friends, 
                or co-workers who might be in the best position to 
                provide support. As we race to stop the spread of this 
                devastating virus, we must strengthen our efforts to 
                support sexual assault survivors whose suffering may be 
                compounded by this pandemic, as well as by the economic 
                crisis that has further undermined their economic 
                security and taken a toll on service providers.

                We also must recognize that sexual assault was already 
                a public health crisis even before the pandemic struck. 
                According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual 
                Violence Survey, done by the CDC, one in five women has 
                been a victim of a completed or attempted rape at some 
                point in her lifetime. Research has revealed a strong 
                link between sexual violence and chronic disease, as 
                well as greater long-term economic burdens on survivors 
                of sexual assault. The trauma of assault is further 
                compounded by the high costs of medical and mental 
                health care, navigating the criminal justice system, 
                and lost productivity.

                My Administration stands with survivors, and is 
                committed to alleviating the public health crisis of 
                sexual assault. As part of the American Rescue Plan 
                (ARP), we included $450 million in supplemental funding 
                for domestic violence and sexual assault services, 
                including rape crisis centers. Recognizing the added 
                barriers faced by survivors from historically 
                marginalized communities--particularly survivors who 
                are Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian Americans and 
                Pacific Islanders and other people of color--the ARP 
                includes new funding to support community-based 
                organizations to provide culturally-specific services 
                for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

                I am also proud to have created the first-ever White 
                House Gender Policy Council, through an Executive Order 
                that I signed on International Women's Day. In addition 
                to its work to bring a whole-of-government approach to 
                gender equity in every policy we pursue, this Council 
                will help coordinate

[[Page 17686]]

                Federal agencies to develop a National Action Plan to 
                End Gender-Based Violence. I have also established an 
                independent review commission that will provide 
                recommendations to help guide the development of new 
                policies and enforcement measures in keeping with my 
                Administration's unwavering commitment to improving the 
                response to, and prevention of, sexual assault and 
                sexual harassment in the military.

                To strengthen our national commitment to end gender-
                based violence, we must also renew and further improve 
                the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Writing and 
                championing the passage of VAWA as a Senator is one of 
                my proudest legislative accomplishments--it is a law 
                that has transformed the way our country responds to 
                sexual assault and intimate partner violence. With each 
                reauthorization, I have worked with the Congress to 
                expand VAWA's provisions on a bipartisan basis to 
                improve protections, including for Native American 
                women, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender 
                community, as well as immigrant survivors and survivors 
                from communities of color and other underserved groups. 
                I applaud the House of Representatives for recently 
                passing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act 
                of 2021 with bipartisan support, and I urge the Senate 
                to follow their lead to renew and strengthen this 
                landmark law immediately. Through this legislation, we 
                can continue to support Federal programs with a proven 
                track record of helping survivors heal, strengthen the 
                coordinated community response, improve the response of 
                the criminal justice system, and provide additional 
                pathways to safety by supporting innovative programs 
                and prevention efforts.

                We have made important strides thanks to courageous 
                survivors and dedicated advocates. This month, we honor 
                the strength and resilience of sexual assault 
                survivors, and we recommit ourselves to standing with 
                them for safety, dignity, and justice. There is still 
                much work to do, and it will take all of us to do it. 
                This year's Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention 
                Month is an opportunity for every person, employer, 
                school, sports team, faith-based organization, and 
                institution to come together and commit to being part 
                of the solution. We must rededicate ourselves to 
                creating a society where sexual violence--including 
                sexual assault and sexual harassment--is not tolerated, 
                where survivors are supported, and where all people 
                have an opportunity to thrive without fear of abuse or 
                assault.

                NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of 
                the United States of America, by virtue of the 
                authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws 
                of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2021 as 
                National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. 
                I urge all Americans to support victims when they reach 
                out and disclose abuse.

[[Page 17687]]

                IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 
                thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two 
                thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the 
                United States of America the two hundred and forty-
                fifth.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

[FR Doc. 2021-07178
Filed 4-5-21; 8:45 am]
Billing code 3295-F1-P