July 14, 2023

Washington, DC, July 14, 2023 — The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) celebrates the July 11 vote by the U.S. Senate to confirm Rosie Hidalgo as the Director of the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

In November 2022, GFWC wrote to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in support of her nomination. GFWC International President Deb Strahanoski stated, “Ms. Hidalgo is eminently qualified to lead the Office on Violence Against Women, is beloved by the advocacy community, and known for her leadership and vision.”

Ms. Hidalgo is an attorney with more than 25 years of experience in legislative policy development and implementation, advocacy, and grant and program management. She is experienced in developing broad-based coalitions to develop and implement innovative strategies and programming. The first Senate-confirmed OVW Director since 2010 and the first Latina in the role, Ms. Hidalgo will lead implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and advance OVW’s critical mission.

GFWC has supported local domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers long before the first Violence Against Women Act was first passed by Congress in 1994. Today, we continue to assist survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking with our advocacy, local community financial support, scholarships, donations of time and material resources, and commitment to prevention and education. 

Volunteers can provide community support and leadership, but basic federal programs must be expanded and strengthened to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice has a critical role in ensuring the nation’s response supports our local communities in addressing and preventing gender-based violence. This office also provides essential leadership across the federal government to prioritize prevention, program services for victims and their families, legal services, and training to improve trauma-informed law enforcement response.

Ms. Hidalgo first visited GFWC Headquarters during the 2016-2018 Administration to brief the Executive Committee on policy initiatives when she was Senior Director of Policy at Casa de Esperanza, now called Esperanza United. GFWC leadership met with her at the White House Gender Policy Council. Rosie keynoted our national leadership conference for the GFWC Board of Directors in August 2022 when serving as the Senior Advisor on Gender-Based Violence and Special Assistant to the President. At the White House, Ms. Hidalgo has helped lead the development and launch of the first-ever U.S. National Plan to End Gender-Based Violence.

(Photo Caption: GFWC International President Deb Strahanoski and Rosie Hidalgo, formerly Special Assistant to the President, at the GFWC Board of Directors’ Meeting in Washington, DC, August 2022.)



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