Domestic Violence & the Law



SLN #: 12730
Course Prefix: LAW-691
Course Section: 015
Credit Hours: 3
Instructor(s): Buel

Course Description:
Given the frequency with which domestic violence victims turn to the courts for help, this course will examine the construction of rights within civil and criminal law, including those involving alternative procedural frameworks. We begin with law and the social context of battering, including how the experience of abuse is shaped by race, cultural identity, economic status, sexual orientation, and disabilities. We next view how the law recognizes domestic violence in relation to child custody, divorce, visitation, and child protection matters. Among other topics, the course will also cover tort liability for batterers and third parties (police, employers, etc.), and federal remedies, such as the Violence Against Women Act. Criminal law aspects are addressed within the role of protective orders, prosecution, and defense, including self-defense for victims and ethical representation of batterers. Violence against women as a human rights violation and in the context of human trafficking and sexual assault are introduced, with discussions designed to bridge theory and practice. The focus of the class is to examine current challenges and shortcomings in the legal response to intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, and then draft proposals for systems change through the social justice lens.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 3
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Written Assignment: Minimum 20 page paper
Graduation Writing Requirement: Yes*
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes, With Instructor's Approval*
Skills Requirement: No
Note: Only one of the above listed requirements can be fulfilled with this course.
Limited Enrollment Number: 25
Final Exam Given: No
Mid Term or Other Exam: No
Paper or In-Class Presentation: Yes
Participation Points: 10%
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Additional Attendance Policy: No
Online Course Site: None