Vol. 16.2

Explore the digital version of  Volume 16.2.

Public Interest Practitioners Section (PIPS)

The Continued Marginalization of People Living with HIV/AIDS in U.S. Immigration Law by Cristina Velez, Supervising Attorney of Immigration at the HIV Law Project, a non-profit based in New York City.

Challenging the Practice of Solitary  Confinement in Immigration Detention in Georgia and Beyond by Azadeh Shahshahani, director of the National Security/Immigrants’ Rights project at the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Georgia & Ayah Natasha El-Sergany, an attorney based in Seattle, Wash., and 2010 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Executive Article

J. McIntyre and the Global Stream of Commerce by Frank Deale, Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law.

Notes & Comments 

Not Guilty By Reason of Gender Transgression: The Ethics of Gender Identity Disorder as Criminal Defense and the Case of Pfc. Chelsea Manning by Madeline Porta, J.D. 2013, City University of New York School of Law.

Because Parents Owe it to Them:Unaccompanied LGBTQ Youth Enforcing the Parental Duty of Support by Maria Roumiantseva, J.D. 2013, City University of New York School of Law and Staff Attorney, The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Practice.

Event

Work, Work, and More Work: Whose Economic Rights? A conversation between Professors Stanley Aronowitz, Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the Ph.D. Program in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and Director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Technology, and Work & Shirley Lung, Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law and former Executive Director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights. Moderated by Professor Ruthann Robson, Professor of Law and University Distinguished Professor, CUNY School of Law.

 

 

VAWA @ 20: Index

VAWA @ 20 – Index

Introduction – Nishan Bhaumik on the history of the Violence Against Women Act’s passage and reauthorization and the goals of the VAWA @ 20 series.

VAWA After the Party: Implementing Proposed Guidelines on Campus Sexual Assault Resolution – Mary P. Koss and Elise C. Lopez of the University of Arizona on the effect of existing and proposed VAWA guidelines on the process for sexual assault adjudication at institutions of higher education.

Roll Back “Prison Nation” – Donna Coker, Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law, on VAWA’s contribution to hyper-incarceration.

Raising the Visibility of the Margins and the Responsibility of Mainstream – Marcia Olivo, Sisterhood of Survivors/Miami Workers Center, and  Kelly Miller, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, on the need to expand VAWA in order to guarantee protections for marginalized communities.

HIV, Violence Against Women, and Criminal Law Interventions – Aziza Ahmed, Associate Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, on HIV/AIDS and the negative consequences of the criminal law approach to sex trafficking.

Art, Violence, and Women – Yxta Maya Murray, Professor at Loyola Law School, on how visual art can inform the feminist legal process.

The Politics of Pretext: VAWA Goes Global – Deborah M. Weissman, Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law, on VAWA International (I-VAWA), Congress’s attempt to expand U.S. influence in the realm of violence against women as a matter of foreign policy.

Building the Knowledge Base: Research Funding through VAWA – Claire M. Renzetti, of the University of Kentucky, Rebecca M. Campbell, of Michigan State University, and Allison Adair, of the University of Kentucky, on the substantial increase in empirical studies of the causes and consequences of violence against women, as well as research on responses to both victims and perpetrators.

Stalled at 20: VAWA, the Criminal Justice System, and the Possibilities of Restorative Justice – Leigh Goodmark, Professor Law at the University of the Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, on restorative justice and the failure of VAWA to provide abuse survivors with alternative venues for seeking justice.

The Mainstreaming of the Criminalization Critique: Reflections on VAWA 20 Years Later – Mimi E. Kim, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach, on the troubling collaboration between feminists and the criminal justice system represented by VAWA’s attachment to the Crime Bill of 1994.

A Disappearing Act: The Dwindling Analysis of the Anti-Violence Movement – Kerry Toner on the failure of VAWA to address the complex social phenomenon of domestic violence and the complete experiences of survivors.

VAWA in the Lives of Battered South Asian Women in the United States – Shamita Das Dasgupta, Ph.D., DVS, Manavi, on the experiences of battered South Asian immigrant women under VAWA.

The Gender Justice Movement: The Fullest Expression of the former Battered Women’s Movement, and the Domestic Violence Movement – Tiloma Jayasinghe, J.D., Executive Director, Sakhi for South Asian Women, on the New York City Gender Justice Taskforce and her work leading the Sakhi for South Asian Women, an anti-domestic violence agency.

VAWA and Welfare Reform: Criminalizing the Most Marginalized Women – Ann Cammett, Professor at CUNY School of Law, on how national welfare reform legislation and the rising rate of female incarceration undermined VAWA’s goals for poor women.

Improving Civil Legal Assistance for Ending Gender Violence – Elizabeth L. MacDowell, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Family Justice Clinic at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas, on necessary reforms to VAWA to expand civil remedies for domestic abuse survivors.

Gender Violence and Civil Rights – Julie Goldscheid, Professor, CUNY Law School, on the need for a renewed civil rights initiative in light of Morrison striking down VAWA’s original civil rights remedy.

 

VAWA @ 20: Introduction

Introduction

Nishan Bhaumik

 In 1994, Congress passed the most comprehensive response to what Congress had identified as a disturbing trend of violence against women. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 was a result of decades of hard-fought, strategic advocacy highlighting the legal and public neglect of violence against women, both inside and outside of the private home.

In 2014, on the 20th anniversary of VAWA, CUNY School of Law reflects upon the progress of VAWA. Our VAWA@20 Symposium first examines VAWA’s past political struggles and legal battles and then considers its future role in eliminating gender-based violence. Footnote Forum collaborated with the VAWA@20 Symposium to present a collection of cutting-edge analyses by scholars and practitioners on VAWA’s role in eliminating gender-based violence.

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VAWA @ 20: VAWA After the Party: Implementing Proposed Guidelines on Campus Sexual Assault Resolution

VAWA After the Party: Implementing Proposed Guidelines on Campus Sexual Assault Resolution

Mary P. Koss and Elise C. Lopez

University of Arizona

The 20th anniversary of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) and its reauthorization in 2013[1] merits celebration and marks a time to contemplate the future legislative and policy agenda. This commentary considers the effect of existing and proposed VAWA guidelines on the process for sexual assault adjudication at institutions of higher education. The focus is several documents including the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights “Dear Colleague Letter”[DCL],[2] DCL clarification,[3] and the Proposed Guidelines for the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization as disseminated for comment in the Federal Register of June 20, 2014.[4] We aim to establish that taken together, these documents: (1) blur the distinctions between campus misconduct resolution and criminal justice process;[5] (2) lack scholarly analysis of sexual assault justice on campus;[6] and (3) clash with contemporary values and practice standards of student affairs professionals.[7] This commentary identifies enhancements derived from restorative justice principles [RJ] and situates them within misconduct resolution framework while maintaining consistency with DCL and VAWA required elements. RJ offers a range of formats that are relevant to the student body at large as well as to individuals involved in sexual misconduct of varying severity and can be implemented at multiple time points in case processing. We draw upon many sources that collectively express desire for policy guidance that supports evidence-based innovations intended to increase congruence with victims’ perceptions of what constitutes justice, raise the likelihood that offenders will be held responsible by sanctions proportional to the harm done, and augment the extent to which institutional responses deter future sexual misconduct.[8]

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VAWA @ 20: Roll Back “Prison Nation”

Roll Back “Prison Nation” 1

By Donna Coker2

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) represents an unprecedented federal focus on violence against women, both in terms of money allocated and in terms of changes in federal law.    VAWA dollars have increased services for victims including civil legal representation, shelters, and youth prevention programs.   The substantive law changes in VAWA include relief for some immigrant victims, expanded tribal court jurisdiction over certain instances of gender violence that occur on Native American land, and the provision that protection orders in one state are enforceable in another state.  While VAWA has made these important positive changes in civil law and remedies, the most significant changes and the most significant dollars have been in the area of law enforcement.  More than 50% of the current VAWA allocation is directed to training and support of police and prosecutors.

VAWA was part of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Bill (“Crime Bill”) of the Clinton administration. This legislation did much to ratchet up what Beth Richie refers to as the U.S. “prison nation” and what Marie Gottschalk refers to as the “carceral state.”3The Crime Bill allocated nearly $10 billion for new prison construction, expanded the death penalty, added mandatory life sentences for federal offenders with three violent priors, required states to maintain sex offender registries or risk losing federal money, and made admissible prior sex abuse offenses of a defendant in both criminal and civil cases involving charges of sex abuse.4

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VAWA @ 20: Raising the Visibility of the Margins and the Responsibility of Mainstream

Raising the Visibility of the Margins and the Responsibility of Mainstream

Marcia Olivo, Sisterhood of Survivors/Miami Workers Center

Kelly Miller, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence

 

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) originated over twenty years ago from a movement lead by predominately white, middle class, educated women in a strong capitalist economy, who were outraged at the lack of response to violence against women and who looked to the criminal justice system as the solution. The federal legislation has been the foundation for addressing gender based violence in our country. In recent years, there is a growing understanding that the criminal justice system as the primary mechanism to end gender based violence is a false solution. Decades of mass incarceration of African American men and men in other communities of color have resulted in the “New Jim Crow” and the school to prison pipeline. Instead of helping youth get their lives back on track, incarceration in a juvenile facility is the greatest predictor of adult incarceration and adult criminality. The criminal justice response assumes that violence against women is an individual aberration and ignores the complexity of violence and the structural oppressions that sustain it. It also heightens the potential for state control of marginalized communities through police surveillance and interventions utilizing the criminal justice system.

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VAWA @ 20: HIV, Violence Against Women, and Criminal Law Interventions

HIV, Violence Against Women, and Criminal Law Interventions

Aziza Ahmed[1]

The growing calls for the “securitization of body and property,”[2] documented by Jonathan Simon in his book Governing Through Crime, illustrates a deep tension in our understanding of the role of criminal law as a tool for societal transformation.[3] For some, including communities of color, the criminal legal system is a place where inequality flourishes;[4] for others, including those feminists who have support criminal law interventions, it has become a tool to realize equality.[5] The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, reauthorized in 2013 as an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA),[6] relies heavily on the criminal law to obtain its goals. Countering the conventional reliance on criminal law, critical feminist legal scholars concerned about the detrimental impact on poor communities and communities of color. They critique the criminal law orientation of TVPA and VAWA for contributing to the destabilization of communities, particularly, communities of color.[7] The carceral aspects of VAWA/TVPA also raise difficult questions for anti-violence advocates concerned about the war on crime, including, mass-incarceration. How has this “feminist war on crime,”[8] backfired?

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VAWA @ 20: Art, Violence, and Women

Art, Violence, and Women

 Yxta Maya Murray1

 

Morrison v. United States threatens to shrink our understandings of the violence women suffer and the varieties of harmony they deserve. In that way this Supreme Court decision that struck down the Violence Against Women Act’s civil provision proved a disaster in far more ways than one.

Women often experience brutality, and seek – what, precisely? Ah, the old woman question. To understand these endurances and quests, we must fathom with far more precision what “violence” means to women, and what its opposite looks like to them. Until quite recently, such grand definitional projects seemed beyond the human ken. At the inception of second wave feminism, poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”2 More than twenty years later Catharine MacKinnon clamored that we barely know what a woman is, let alone all the sensations that she experiences.3 Robin West, too, lamented that patriarchy had strangled women’s abilities to speak about their pain and pleasure.4 Yet some progress prevailed: From feminist and womanist artists and critics came stories and even entirely new vocabularies defining women’s mingled experiences with violence, happiness, suffering, bliss, rape, abortion, work, and sex. Louise Erdrich wrote novels about women’s struggles to gain family, stay safe, and nourish even the tiniest seeds of happiness in the face of violent poverty and white supremacy.5 In Austria, novelist Elfriede Jelinek described the myriad ways capitalism and male dominance trash and kill women.6 Irish installation artist Cathy Wilkes voiced the rigors and despairs that come with living within this beleaguered thing, the female body.7 Angela Harris and Kimberlé Crenshaw studied how race and gender interacted in women’s experiences of violence as well as in their own practices of world- and self-building.8 Carrie Mae Weems argued that history’s violence creates the present moment and also engaged in peacemaking in her own efforts to reclaim that past in her art.9

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VAWA @ 20: The Politics of Pretext: VAWA Goes Global

The Politics of Pretext: VAWA Goes Global

Deborah M. Weissman,1 Reef C. Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law

weissman@email.unc.edu

919-962-5108

The twentieth anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides an opportunity to assess the meaning and consequences of the Act. VAWA and its subsequent Congressional reauthorizations represent efforts to protect women from gender-based violence in the realm of domestic politics. But with the introduction of a new bill, VAWA International (I-VAWA), Congress has signaled its intent to expand U.S. influence in the realm of violence against women as a matter of foreign policy. First introduced in 2007, and subsequently re-introduced in each succeeding session of Congress, I-VAWA seeks to “prevent and respond to violence against women and girls around the world, as a matter of basic human rights as well as to promote gender equality, economic growth, and improved public health.”2 It proposes to “systematically integrate and coordinate” foreign policy and foreign aid programs in order to mitigate the harm caused by violence against women in the world at large.3 I-VAWA creates a new office of Global Women’s Issues within the Department of State and establishes the position of Ambassador-at-Large within the U.S. Agency for International Aid (USAID) responsible for global assistance programs. It derives much of its programmatic initiatives from a 2012 document created by USAID entitled “United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally” (hereinafter 2012 Strategy) which articulates U.S. interests in assuming leadership in efforts to end violence against women: promoting global market economies, strengthening national security and defense, and assuring that such form of violence is recognized as a criminal and not cultural act.4

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VAWA @ 20: Building the Knowledge Base: Research Funding through VAWA

Building the Knowledge Base: Research Funding through VAWA

 

Claire M. Renzetti,1 University of Kentucky; Rebecca M. Campbell, Michigan State University; and Allison Adair, University of Kentucky

 

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been credited with facilitating the growth in research on all forms of violence against women. In the first few years following passage of VAWA, funding for this research was provided by the Violence Against Women Grants Office (VAWGO), which today is known as the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). In fiscal year 1998, however, dedicated funding for violence against women research and evaluation was legislatively appropriated to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which resulted in a substantial increase in empirical studies of the causes and consequences of violence against women as well as research on responses to both victims and perpetrators.2 In an analysis of NIJ’s Compendium of Research on Violence Against Women, we identified 328 research projects that had been funded between 1993 and 2013, with a significant uptick after 1995.3 This has undoubtedly improved the knowledge base on violence against women. As Auchter and Moore state, “We know a lot more about VAW today than we did when VAWA was originally passed because of the dedicated funds provided by the NIJ VAW program of research.”4

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