Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Earlier this month the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation designating October 2011 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, stating that “an average of three women in America die as a result of domestic violence each day. One in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.” Domestic Violence Awareness Month has been observed nationally starting with the Day of Unity observed in October 1981. In 1989, the U.S. Congress designated the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month commemorative with passage of S.J. Res. 133 as Pub. L. 101-12.

Lawyers and law schools have a special responsibility regarding the issue of domestic violence. Legal services for domestic violence protective orders, divorce, custody, spousal and child support are important factors in preventing domestic violence. Earlier this year, Brooklyn Law School Prof. Elizabeth Schneider, a national expert in the field of domestic violence who teaches a Battered Women and the Law course, wrote the introduction to Teach Your Students Well: Incorporating Domestic Violence Into Law School Curricula, a Law School Report for the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence to address the importance of incorporating gender issues, including domestic violence, into law school curriculum. She cited the work of Brooklyn Law Students against Domestic Violence (BLSADV) which worked with other groups on a hotline representing battered women on restraining order cases.

The BLS Library recently added to its collection the 2011 edition of Domestic Violence: Practice and Procedure by Isabelle Scott a comprehensive volume for practitioners which offers analysis of domestic violence case law and statutes, scientific and medical information, practical advice, and proven tips. Discussion covers the full sweep of domestic violence law, including criminal, civil, tort, divorce, child custody, immigration, civil rights, and equal protection.