The legal system has a critical role to play in promoting victim and community safety, as well as accountability for those who commit domestic violence. The Partnership is involved in a range of activities to strengthen our legal system’s response, including participating in task forces and collaborating with other stakeholders.
Language and court access are critical issues for survivors of domestic violence. For those with limited English proficiency, the lack of interpretation when interacting with law enforcement officials and in court proceedings can put survivors’ safety at risk. The Partnership monitors trends and responds to issues of language access advocating for policy solutions and systems changes to improve access for survivors.
In addition to legislative and systems change work, the Partnership also joins Amicus Briefs when appropriate. This is an important way for the Partnership to ensure that the needs of victims are heard in our courts.
The Partnership joined 103 tribal, local, regional and national organizations in a brief to inform the Supreme Court of the life and death importance of tribal sovereignty to the safety of Native women and children. A conclusion by the Supreme Court that the tribe does not have jurisdiction in the Dollar General Store case would close yet another possibility for justice for Native survivors and be a devastating blow to the inherent sovereignty of Indian tribes.
The Partnership, along with a number of other interested parties, submitted the brief on this case supporting the argument of low-income litigants seeking fee waivers. On September 26, 2014 the court published a decision in favor of the client, who was denied the fee waiver despite the fact that she was receiving public benefits.
The Partnership, along with a number of other interested parties, submitted the brief on this case supporting the argument that trial judge misinterpreted the DVPA which specifically allows parents to petition for restraining orders to protect themselves and their children based on abuse directed at a child.
The Partnership, along with a number of other interested parties, submitted the brief on this case arguing that the court incorrectly denied a permanent restraining order on the basis that the offender had not violated the temporary restraining order.
The Partnership, along with the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies and the National Immigrant Justice Center, submitted the brief on this case supporting the petitioner’s request for a rehearing of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision to deny her asylum application. The petitioner fled Peru as a young woman, age 15 at the time, to escape a violent man who targeted her to be his girlfriend. After the petitioner and her family endured threats and physical attacks for months, her family sent her to the United States where she applied for asylum. The BIA denied
The Partnership, along with a number of other interested parties, submitted the brief on this case to urge the court to recognize the importance of access to emergency contraception for all women, and its critical nature for rape and domestic violence survivors. The case centers on two rules enacted by the Washington State Board of Pharmacy that would have required pharmacies to dispense medications, including birth control and emergency contraception, regardless of individual pharmacists’ personal feelings.
The Partnership, along with the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, California Women Lawyers, Queen’s Bench Bar Association of San Francisco Amicus Briefs Committee, and Women Lawyers of Sacramento submitted the brief on this case to request the Court to reevaluate the profound societal consequences of allowing habitual abusers who kill their intimate partners to escape full criminal culpability by raising the provocation defense.
The Partnership, along with the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP), Domestic Violence Report,Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, Justice for Children, the California Protective Parents Association, and former California Senator Sheila James Kuehl, submitted the brief in support of the petitioner Segalit McRoberts. The brief argues that because “parental alienation syndrome” (PAS) lacks general acceptance in the scientific community, PAS should not be admissible as evidence in custody cases.