The Pace Women’s Justice Center has Created Public Service Announcements Addressing Domestic Violence Issues

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Pace Law School’s Women’s Justice Center have developed three public service announcements on domestic violence that are available to television networks free of charge.  These announcements are available in 30 second, 60 second and one minute formats and emphasize that once an order of protection is obtained it is enforceable in all states no matter where a woman may travel.  The Center created these public service announcements under a grant from the federal Violence Against Women’s Office.

Executive Director Victoria L. Lutz explained the purpose of the ads in this way:  “Our center represents over 1,000 victims of domestic violence annually, so each day we are made aware how valuable legal information is to a battered woman.  About five years ago we decided to make commercials to give domestic violence legal information to the largest possible audience – TV viewers. These ads, for example, explain that orders of protection issued somewhere in the United States are enforceable everywhere in the United States.”

Rockville Pictures, Inc, produced the commercials, which depict women from 18 to 80 years old who need to travel for business, pleasure, or to escape an abuser.  The ads highlight that, while protection orders from California to New York do not look alike and may be called restraining orders or orders of protection, under federal law, they must be enforced. In 1994, the federal government passed the Violence Against Women Act, which requires full faith and credit be extended to orders of protection.  The federal government then funded the center to make these commercials in order to get that message out.

“We are a mobile society.  We often live in one state and work or shop in another. We visit our relatives and vacation without considering whether it requires us to cross state lines to do so. Shouldn’t victims of domestic violence have the same degree of freedom? An order of protection should help empower a client, not imprison her in one geographical setting.”  Ms. Lutz explained why public service announcements help.  ” We want victims of domestic violence to hear about their rights at their dining room table and in their living rooms.  And we want abusers to get the idea that an order of protection is like a driver’s license and will be honored in every state, Indian tribal land, or United States territory.”

The Pace Women’s Justice Center, the oldest university-based institute in the United States dedicated to helping attorneys better represent victims of domestic violence, is a non-profit entity under the organizational umbrella of Pace University School of Law.  In addition to representing domestic violence victims at the Yonkers and White Plains Family Courts, the center conducts elder law seminars, sexual assault trainings, matrimonial law programs, and domestic violence intervention initiatives of all kinds.

The center hopes that national and local networks will air its domestic violence commercials in prime time, during news hours, and during the daytime TV programs.  For more information or to obtain a copy of the public service announcements please contact Judy Russo (914) 422-4424; judyrusso@law.pace.edu.

Founded in 1976, Pace Law School is located in White Plains, N.Y., 20 miles north of New York City. The School offers the J.D. program for full-time, and part-time day, and evening students. Its post-graduate program includes the LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees in Environmental Law and the LL.M. in Comparative Legal Studies. Pace has one of the nation’s top-rated environmental law programs and its Clinical Education Program also is nationally ranked, offering clinics in domestic violence prosecution, securities arbitration, criminal justice, and disability rights.

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