Judges routinely preside over cases involving intimate partner violence. Our understanding of IPV has grown in the past several decades. Violence in intimate partnerships has moved from being considered a private matter to a pervasive social problem that requires a nuanced and targeted response from our justice system and our courts. While framed as gendered-based violence for important reasons, this approach has sometimes compromised our understanding of IPV in LGBTQ+ relationships and therefore reduced our ability to respond to it. As members of our LGBTQ+ community (and their families) are more openly interacting with judges, it is important to recognize the complexities of IPV in these relationships. Our panel of judges will discuss IPV and share their experiences with it in the family, juvenile and criminal courts. The panel will discuss specific concerns to the rainbow community and how unique considerations and challenges can arise when IPV becomes an issue in the courtroom. This means challenging unconscious bias and striving for cultural humility, while working to ensure that access to justice is attainable for all persons that interact with our courts, both as members of the Bench and of the Bar.
Speakers: Judge Rachel Bell (Davidson County General Sessions Court); Judge Christopher Bowen (Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa); Judge Julie Emede (County of Santa Clara Superior Court); Judge Amy Sakalauskas (Nova Scotia Provincial Court)