Professor Nan Seuffert
Feminist work in law reform and policy development in response to intimate partner violence (IPV) has often been quintessentially law and society orientated as investigations of the gaps between "law on the books' and "law in action', and between law and justice. A key aspect of feminist responses to IPV has been the development of coordinated community, or interagency, models, which bring together justice system, government and community services with the feminist goals of achieving safety and autonomy for the survivors of IPV. However, police, legal system decision-makers and other officials may be resistant to change in the area of IPV, which necessitates on-going evaluations of coordinated responses. This paper considers the futures of these coordinated responses, and their evaluations, as law and society projects. It begins by tracing a growing tension in the model between feminist theories, practices and approaches to domestic violence, and (neo-liberal) governmental "service delivery' imperatives. It argues that the best of the coordinated response programs to IPV retain the feminist goals of safety and autonomy for survivors. The paper provides a recent example of a feminist-focused evaluation methodology used on the YWCA NSW Domestic Violence Intervention Service (DVIS), a community-based crisis intervention service that is physically co-located within a police station. It then reports on the findings of the evaluation, considering the ways in which this model enhances support and outcomes for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence. Finally, it makes an argument for feminist-informed law and society futures for coordinated responses to intimate partner violence.
About the authors
Professor Nan Seuffert is the Director of the Legal Intersections Research Centre (LIRC) at the University of Wollongong. She teaches and researches in the areas of critical legal theory, and race, gender, sexuality and the law. Her current projects include, with Dr Trish Mundy, an evaluation of the YWCA NSW Domestic Violence Intervention Service in Nowra, funded by an NAB Community Impact Grant. Mundy and Seuffert are also conducting research on the advancement of women in law firms, in partnership with the Women Lawyers Association of NSW. Seuffert also conducts research on refugee law and policy with a focus on sexual minorities and on contract, colonisation, race and gender.
Associate Professor Trish Mundy is Associate Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at the University of Wollongong. With Professor Nan Seuffert, she has recently undertaken an evaluation of the YWCA NSW Domestic Violence Intervention Service in Nowra. Prior to academia, Trish worked for many years within the community legal sector, working principally in the areas of family law and family violence, including over 10 years of legal practice experience. Key roles have included Principal Solicitor at the Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre on the South Coast of NSW and Senior Solicitor at the Indigenous Women's Program at the Women's Legal Service.
About the seminar
Professor Nan Seuffert will present her co-authored paper as part of the Law Futures Centre Seminar Series at the Griffith Law School (N61) Nathan campus with a videolink to the Griffith Law School (G36) Gold Coast campus. When registering for the seminar, please indicate in your email which campus you will attend.
RSVP on or before Thursday 27 September 2018 , by email email@example.com