get to know the commission
In this section of the eNewsletter, we introduce you to a member of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence to increase an understanding of the Commission, its members, and its work.
Julie Goldscheid has been formally involved with the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence since 2002, when she was a liaison from the ABA Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section. She became a Commissioner in 2006, and has been Chair of the Law Student Writing Competition committee for the last two years.
Julie has been working on issues addressing domestic violence since the 1980’s, when she did crisis counseling with domestic violence victims and community education on the issue. From 1994-2001 she headed Legal Momentum’s (then called NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) litigation, legislation and advocacy efforts addressing violence against women. She then became general counsel of Safe Horizon, one of the country’s leading victim assistance and advocacy organizations, located in New York City. Julie has been extensively involved in litigation, legislation and public policy initiatives on behalf of domestic and sexual assault survivors, and now, as a member of CUNY Law School’s faculty, much of her research and writing focuses on using the law to provide meaningful remedies for domestic and sexual violence survivors.
Julie believes that access to lawyers remains a tremendous barrier for victims: “Although many legal protections are now in place, in many instances enforcement falls short, and in some cases this is a reflection of a shortage of available legal advocacy.” However, she also believes that the Commission has significantly expanded the scope and availability of information about legal representation of domestic violence survivors. The publications, web materials, trainings and public education efforts of the Commission are a tremendous resource for attorneys throughout the country, and the Commission has been responsible for raising the visibility of issues facing domestic violence survivors throughout the legal profession and has fostered collaborations between many parts of the legal community on behalf of survivors.
Despite decades of legal advances and increased awareness, though, Julie is concerned that domestic violence remains a prevalent and disabling problem for too many people. In addition to improving legal remedies and access to them, she believes that we shouldn’t lose sight of the need for prevention and other initiatives aimed at shifting the social conditions that allow domestic violence to remain such an entrenched problem.