2003 Founders' Celebration Events

Understanding Women's Needs and Developing Creative Solutions:
Emerging Paradigms for Addressing Domestic Violence

March 31, 2003


During the last quarter century, the dominant paradigm for the legal response to women's abuse in intimate relationships has become one of protection and punishment. Activists in the domestic violence movement struggled hard to achieve previously unavailable remedies from the state. When abused, women may now seek the court's assistance in protecting themselves from a perpetrator of abuse by seeking a civil protection order. In addition, states increasingly seek to punish an abuser through arrest and criminal prosecution. Although these responses are often inadequate, feminist activism has produced significant social change. However, the paradigms of protection and punishment are problematic. They often fail to address women's multiple needs in situations of domestic violence. Either their needs for housing, financial support, stability of employment and education, and emotional support for their children are treated as "nonlegal" needs, or legal regimes in these areas exacerbate, rather than alleviate, women's difficulties in confronting the consequences of abuse. This panel identified new paradigms for legal response to domestic violence and suggest creative solutions to the problems women face.

Agenda

Paradigms of Domestic Violence In Historical Perspective

Ann Shalleck
Professor of Law and Director, Women & the Law Program
Washington College of Law, American Univeristy

Ann Shalleck is a Professor of Law and the Carrington Shields Scholar at the American University, Washington College of Law where she started and directs the Women and the Law Program. Professor Shalleck teaches, writes and lectures widely about gender and the law, clinical education, gender and international law and family law.

Community and Legal Interventions in Domestic Violence: Effective Responses to Women's Needs

Jane C. Murphy
Professor and Director, Clinical Education
University of Baltimore School of Law

Jane Murphy teaches family law courses and is Director of Clinical Education at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She has been both an advocate and scholar on a wide variety of domestic violence issues. Most recently, she completed an interdisciplinary study funded by the National Institute of Justice examining, among other things, the efficacy of community and legal interventions in domestic violence.

Doubly Victimized: Housing Discrimination Against Victims of Domestic Violence

Lenora Lapidus
Director, Women's Rights Project
American Civil Liberties Union

Lenora Lapidus is the Director of the Women's Rights Project (WRP) at the American Civil Liberties Union. She litigates women's rights cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States on a range of issues including discrimination against victims of domestic violence.