Legal Momentum in the Media
Date: June 7, 2016
The six-month sentence imposed on a Stanford student athlete found guilty in a widely publicized rape case has instigated widespread public outrage. In this segment on NPR's The Takeaway, Legal Momentum's Senior Vice President and Director of the National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) Lynn Hecht Schafran discusses the case and the issues involved with host John Hockenberry. NJEP has been educating judges and other court professionals about the realities sexual assault and domestic violence, and their intersection, since 1980.
Date: April 25, 2016
Legal Momentum's Executive Vice President and Legal Director, Penny Venetis, and anthropology professor and Middle East expert Jessica Winegar discuss the similarities and differences in violence against women in the U.S. and overseas with host Heather Stark on the Blog Talk Radio "3 Women, 3 Ways" show that aired Saturday, April 23, 2016.
Date: March 9, 2016
Legal Momentum's President and CEO, Carol Robles-Román and Executive Vice President and Legal Director, Penny M. Venetis, wrote a forceful op-ed in the Seattle Times calling for strong and swift action against online commercial exploitation of children.
Date: November 18, 2015
“You don’t want to have a low-level manager operating off the seat of their pants,” said Penny M. Venetis, the executive vice president and legal director of Legal Momentum, a group that works on a broad range of gender equity issues, include domestic violence.
Ms. Venetis said that sending home a worker who has been threatened by a partner was often the most dangerous response an employer could choose. The employee may be less safe alone at home than at work, and the loss of a livelihood can make abused partners even more dependent on their abusers.
Ms. Porter “acted responsibly for reporting it,” Ms. Venetis said. “The actions Bon-Ton took discourage people from coming forward.”
Date: November 12, 2015
Fordham Magazine profiles Carol Robles-Román's lifelong commitment to gender justice for women and girls and highlights Legal Momentum's recent achievements. Carol is a Fordham alumna.
Date: November 10, 2015
"There's no reason for her to take a leave or to essentially take a demotion working in the toll booth," said Penny Venetis, the executive vice president and legal director for Legal Momentum, an advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls.
Venetis said her organization has represented DiPalo since the beginning of her case, and contended that pregnant law enforcement officers should be allowed to stay on the job until they see fit to take maternity leave.
"If her doctor says that she can carry out her regular duties, I don't see what the issue is," she said, calling the TBTA's previous practices "primitive."
"It's outrageous. It's 2015. It's not 1935. It really shouldn't be happening, Venetis said. "As long as they are able to do their job effectively, they should not be forced out because they are having a baby."
Ms. DiPalo is back on patrol, Venetis said.
Date: October 26, 2015
Excellent article on the need for paid "safe leave" to enable domestic violence victims to escape abuse. The article quotes Legal Momentum Vice President for Government Relations Lisalyn Jacobs, and links to our online State Law Guides.
"Abusers also often use finances to exert control over their victims. As Lisalyn Jacobs, vice president for government relations at Legal Momentum, put it, 'The ability of the abuser to control the pursestrings is clearly key to the control and abuse.' Paid leave doesn’t cut a victim off from her own steady source of income.
"Jacobs said her group is pushing for a postering requirement to have employers display information about safe leave at the workplace. Meanwhile, she recently urged people in the Obama administration to include domestic violence victims when talking about sick leave, particularly around the executive order. 'One of the biggest problems we as advocates face is that even where these provisions exist…people don’t know about it,' she said."
Date: October 22, 2015
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we next discuss the intersection of poverty and domestic violence with Lisalyn Jacobs of Legal Momentum, an organization dedicated to ensuring economic and personal security for women and girls, and Dana Bolger of Know Your IX, a national survivor-run, student-driven campaign to end campus sexual violence. (Minutes 15:00-45:00 of the 1-hour episode)
"The thing that people sometimes miss when we're having these conversations is how interrelated a couple's finances can be. Oftentimes if we're talking about issues of domestic and sexual violence, we can be talking about a victim of somewhat limited means and as a consequence may not have the same number of options. The survivor may share expenses with the abuser and if that relationship breaks up they may not have the money they need for rent, for child care, for other kinds of things that keep their lives stable. Perhaps the survivor is entirely dependent economically."--Lisalyn Jacobs
Date: August 27, 2015
The ordinances get the abuse backward. “It’s like saying if somebody gets burglarized they’re going to be kicked out of their house,” said Penny Venetis, executive vice president and legal director at the advocacy organization Legal Momentum. “If you’re the victim of a crime, how could you possibly be evicted from your house?”
It can have devastating consequences. “Women should not have to choose between being homeless and staying alive or keeping their children alive,” Venetis said. But “really that’s the choice you’re forcing them to make.”
Action from states like Pennsylvania and Illinois could help pave the way. “If one state does it, it’s easier for another state to do it,” Venetis said. “When things like this happen it’s like a domino effect.”
Date: August 19, 2015
As the technology becomes more common, the supposed need for statutes of limitations lessens. Lynn Hecht Schafran, director of the National Judicial Education Program at the women's legal defense and education fund Legal Momentum, tells Bustle:
"Being able to have tangible evidence that carries forward through the years is a very important step toward making it reasonable to lift these statutes of limitations."
Of course, not every rape victim is given a rape kit, so DNA evidence isn't present in every case.
Schafran doesn't foresee eliminating statutes of limitations in rape cases happening quickly, and if history's taught us anything, it's that these reforms take a long time. Nebraska became the first state to abolish exemptions for marital rape in 1976, but nearly 40 years later, it's still handled differently than other rape cases in several states, with different punishments, shorter reporting periods, or by being charged under a different criminal code. In the same way, getting rid of time limits on sexual assault cases will not happen overnight, so for now, Cosby and others accused of raping women decades ago will remain free.