Panel on Immigration and Domestic Violence
STOPDV hosted a panel on confronting domestic violence in immigrant communities. Topics included the social, cultural and practical challenges facing battered women in immigrant settings, the legal rights of survivors in the context of immigration law, the effects on immigrant women of changes in the political and legal landscapes post 9/11, and discussion of further advocacy and community-oriented strategies to help immigrant women to escape domestic violence. Panelists included: Joyce Noche from Legal Momentum; Nancy Kelly from Greater Boston Legal Services; and Lucille Persing from the Asian Task Force on Domestic Violence.
Volunteer at Rosie's Place
STOPDV members helped serve lunch at Rosie's Place, a shelter for poor and homeless women, in conjunction with HLCentral's Springfest. To learn more about Rosie’s Place, visit www.rosies.org/cultures/en-us/about/
Sexual Assault and Rape Advocacy Training
STOPDV members were trained by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) to advocate on behalf of college women who are victims of campus sexual assault and rape. Once trained, law students are available to receive referrals from Harvard’s Office of Sexual Prevention and Response to assist undergraduate women in administrative proceedings and make sure the school is accommodating as per the school’s administrative policy concerning sexual assault. Often women who are victims of sexual assault and rape do not have any form of representation and are not aware of their rights, thus this is a much-needed and important endeavor.
The training covered a variety of topics including rape myths and facts; survivors’ stories; interviewing techniques; strategies for legal advocacy including criminal prosecutions, civil suits, campus adjudication and remedies, Office for Civil Rights of Department of Education and privacy rights for victims; an overview of MA rape and sexual assault laws; and roles for law students to assist victims of sexual assault and rape within and outside of Harvard.
Screening of “Defending our Lives” and a dinner of Thai food
STOPDV members viewed “Defending Our Lives,” a recent Oscar® winning documentary about the magnitude and severity of domestic violence in this country. This educational video features four women imprisoned for killing their batterers and their terrifying personal testimonies. Check it out at: www.cambridgedocumentaryfilms.org/defending.html
Workshop to Improve the Criminal Justice System’s Capacity to Respond to Intimate Partner Violence
This two-day session, led by Harvard Law Prof. Diane Rosenfeld, explored solutions to the systematic problems in addressing domestic violence and focus on two related interventions: GPS electronic monitoring of offenders and a dangerousness assessment tool. Ideas and solutions generated during the session will be used in upcoming state legislation addressing domestic violence in Massachusetts. Students were welcome to sit in on any part of the executive session.
Related Research Opportunity
Students interested in doing research related to the development of a dangerousness assessment tool worked with Professor Diane Rosenfeld. Students examined data collected by Jane Doe, Inc., The Mass. Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, regarding intimate partner homicides to determine at what point an intervention would have been effective in preventing the victim’s death. Students presented their findings at the Workshop and assisted in the development of this crucial legislation.
Movie Screening & Dinner, “The Selling of Innocence”
STOPDV screened this 50-minute Emmy Award-Winning documentary that exposes one of the fastest growing illegal trades: trafficking of women and girls. One of the world's leading anti-trafficking experts, Ms. Ruchira Gupta, joined. She has helped various organizations, including the United Nations, implement measures to eliminate the selling of women and children across the world and has helped raise awareness about the trafficking that women and young girls commonly suffer from in developing countries.
The pictures show Ms. Gupta speaking to STOPDV members about the making of her film and answering questions after the viewing.