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Report from the Field: Domestic Violence Survivors & the Impact of COVID-19

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2020 (3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EDT)

Joint Sponsors: ABA Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, ABA Judicial Division, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Co-Sponsors: ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, ABA Commission on Homelessness & Poverty, ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, ABA Criminal Justice Section, ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants

Welcome Remarks:
• Judy Perry Martinez – President, American Bar Association; Of Counsel, Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn

• Kelly Behre – Director, UC Davis Family Protection and Legal Assistance Clinic, UC Davis School of Law
• Judge Bernadette D’Souza – Judge, Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Louisiana
• Rebecca Henry – Deputy Chief Counsel, ABA Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence
• Maricarmen Garza – Group Coordinator, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid’s Victim Rights Group; Director, Legal Alliance for Survivors of Sexual Assault Project
• David Martin – Senior Deputy Prosecutor, King County; Supervisor, KCPAO Domestic Violence Unit; Co-Manager, Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Unit
• Dipti Pidikiti-Smith – Director of Advocacy, Legal Services of Northern Virginia

• Andrew King-Ries – Professor, University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law; Chair, ABA Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all communities, but perhaps none more vulnerable than domestic violence survivors ordered to "stay at home" with their abusers. Further, survivors seeking legal assistance and protection find courts closed, police overwhelmed, and jails considering releasing inmates without warning to crime victims. This webinar will consider how COVID responses are affecting legal responses to domestic violence in five key jurisdictions: California, Texas, Virginia, Louisiana, and Washington. We will also include a brief review of the recent federal COVID legislation and what it offers DV survivors. We will learn about challenges faced in communities across the nation and lessons learned in these last few weeks as we rapidly respond to this pandemic and the needs of domestic violence survivors.