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Oct. 8 Pre-Conference Institute For Attorneys

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The Fundamentals of Domestic Violence

The Fundamentals

This session provides a framework for understanding domestic violence cases and why they require additional skill and training for lawyers. It will present a cultural context to better understand domestic violence and help participants appreciate the many barriers clients face that affect representation. The workshop will also focus on tactics employed by perpetrators and coping mechanisms often utilized by victims.

Screening for Domestic Violence

Some clients easily identify as having been abused. Most do not. This session builds upon the previous one by providing tools to assist lawyers in identifying domestic violence cases, eliciting information on the specific power and control tactics the client experiences in order to adequately assess legal remedies. The session also explores the client's privacy and confidentiality concerns and how they may affect representation.

Holistic Legal Response

Attorneys representing clients experiencing domestic violence will need to consider the legal and non-legal impactions of legal actions taken on behalf of the client. In order to provide a holistic legal response, this session will also look at the non-legal needs of clients and how to facilitate services beyond the scope of your representation to help clients obtain control over their lives.

Safety & Autonomy

This session stresses the critical importance of safety as a fundamental and on-going concern for your client, and yourself throughout the course of your representation and how safety concerns drive any legal interventions. This session will also address the importance of working collaboratively with community and systems-based advocates to help facilitate client safety. Lastly, the session emphasizes maintenance of professional and ethical boundaries in representing clients experiencing domestic violence.