Half-Million Dollar Grant Helps Pace Women’s Justice Center Help Abused Women

Pace Women’s Justice Center to receive nearly $500,000 Federal Funds to provide legal services for victims of violence, sexual assault and stalking in Westchester and Putnam Counties.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Cara Cea, Pace University (914) 906-9680, ccea@pace.edu

PACE WOMEN’S JUSTICE CENTER TO RECEIVE NEARLY $500,000 FEDERAL FUNDS TO PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES FOR VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT AND STALKING IN WESTCHESTER AND PUTNAM COUNTIES

Center will partner on comprehensive services with El Centro Hispano, Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center, Victim Assistance Services and Hope’s Door

WHITE PLAINS, NY, September 10, 2009 –Sonia S (not her real name) was broken, physically and emotionally, as she struggled up the steps of an office in White Plains one winter morning last year. Her boyfriend had beaten her and chased their two children into a freezing back yard.

Yet with the help of the organization in that office, the Pace Women’s Justice Center, and its attorneys, law students, and community-based partnering agencies, she received custody of her children and she and they received shelter, an emergency protective order from Family Court, child support, safety planning, counseling and other essential support services so that she could move forward with her life free from violence.

As the economy adds stresses to households, women and families in Westchester and Putnam counties affected by domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking will continue to get such services, thanks to a federal grant of nearly a half million dollars to the Pace Women’s Justice Center, a pioneering legal services program at Pace Law School (www.law.pace.edu/wjc).

The grant of $495,933 was obtained with the support of Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Congressman John Hall and US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

It goes to a center which over nearly 20 years has served almost 20,000 domestic violence victims and survivors and their children, and has trained hundreds of lawyers, judges, prosecutors, and police officers.

Pioneering The Center will use the funds to continue its partnership with four local shelters and community-based agencies — El Centro Hispano, the Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center, Victim Assistance Services, and Hope’s Door, formerly the Northern Westchester Shelter.

It will continue funding the work of attorneys, conducting legal clinics at partnering agencies, providing outreach particularly in underserved areas, such as Latino communities, and working with its partners to provide essential social services.

“The Pace Women’s Justice Center is a critical resource for women in our community suffering abuse or harassment,” said Lowey. “I am thrilled to have helped ensure their vital work enabling women and children to live free of violence will continue.”

“The Center has broken fresh ground in legal services by providing a critical safety net for hundreds of families every year, strengthening our state’s ability to reduce domestic abuse,” said Hall. “Especially in tough economic times, these services are so important to Hudson Valley residents.”

“The Pace Women’s Justice Center was the first law school legal center in the United States devoted to training attorneys on domestic violence issues,” said Gillibrand, a lawyer herself who is helping lead efforts to eliminate violence in New York. “This grant provides more than legal representation. It provides holistic, comprehensive services to forestall problems. And it will keep the Pace Women’s Justice Center working with a mix of agencies, shelters and centers around Westchester and Putnam.”

Said Jane Aoyama-Martin, Executive Director of PWJC, a lawyer who has fought domestic violence for over 20 years: “Each year, the Center provides legal services to battered women and their children in their struggle to free themselves from violence and abuse. Thanks to Congresswoman Lowey, Congressman Hall and Senator Gillibrand, this grant will allow the Center to continue its partnerships and collaborations to provide comprehensive legal and social services to Latina victims and survivors.”

About PWJC: Founded in 1991, over nearly 20 years the Center has grown from a legal resource and training center into a highly respected, multi-faceted institution serving over 2,500 victims and survivors of domestic violence each year. Because of its affiliation with Pace Law School, the Center has been able to make law students an integral component of its innovative programs, providing the students with practical experience and skills. In addition, the use of law students has improved the delivery of quality legal services to the surrounding community in a very cost-effective manner.

In addition to providing direct legal services, the Center sponsors a Family Law Lecture Series, a Moderate Means Divorce Panel, Elder Law Clinics, Elder Abuse Civil Legal Services, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Trainings, and a Legal Helpline that receives over 3000 calls/year. The Center is located in Gail’s House at Pace Law School, 78 North Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603, and its helpline is at (914) 287-0739.

About Pace Law School: Founded in 1976, Pace Law School has nearly 6,700 alumni throughout the country and the world. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus. With an Environmental Law program consistently ranked among the top three in the nation (US News & World Report), the school also offers the Master of Laws in Environmental Law, Real Estate Law and Comparative Legal Studies, and an SJD in Environmental Law. Pace is also the first law school in the nation to offer a course of study focused on climate change law, which is included as a specialty track in its Master of Laws in Environmental Law. The School of Law is part of a comprehensive, independent and diversified University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu

Professional education at Pace University: For 103 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality professional education resting on a firm base of liberal learning, amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

Pace Women’s Justice Center Expands Education Program for High School Students

To help reduce dating violence at its most frequent source, the Pace Women’s Justice Center (WJC) began a training program last summer for boys at private, all-boys schools including Iona Prep., Fordham Prep., Archbishop Stepinac High School and Mount Saint Michael Academy, all in New York’s Westchester County and the New York City borough of the Bronx.

Contacts: Mary E. Horgan, Pace Public Information,
914-923-2798, mhorgan@pace.edu
Regina Pappalardo, Communications Coordinator, Pace Law School
914-422-4268, rpappalardo@law.pace.edu
Helene Norton-Russell, Coordinator of Public Relations,
Pace Women’s Justice Center
914-422-4069, hrussell@law.pace.edu

PACE WOMEN’S JUSTICE CENTER
EXPANDS EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
TO COMBAT DATING VIOLENCE

Westchester DA Jeanine Pirro to be guest speaker 1:00 pm Thursday, July 8, 2004, at Pace Law School

Grants from EILEEN FISHER, Junior League of Westchester on the Sound, Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation and Women’s Research and Education Fund will support training for high school students

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., July 6, 2004 — To help reduce dating violence at its most frequent source, the Pace Women’s Justice Center (WJC) began a training program last summer for boys at private, all-boys schools including Iona Prep., Fordham Prep., Archbishop Stepinac High School and Mount Saint Michael Academy, all in New York’s Westchester County and the New York City borough of the Bronx.

Now the program is expanding, and adding sections for girls as well.

From Wednesday, July 7, through Friday, July 9, 30 male and female student leaders from Gorton, Blind Brook, Horace Greeley, Good Council, Mount Saint Michael, Greenwich, Maria Regina and Stepinac high schools will attend a three-day intensive training seminar at the Pace Law School so they can take the program back to their schools this fall.

The seminar will also present featured speakers including Jeanine Pirro, the Westchester County District Attorney, Robert Mancuso, a Westchester criminal defense attorney, and Eric Ramos, a White Plains Police Department School Resource Officer. Pirro speaks Thursday, July 8, at 1:00 pm.

Epidemic. “There is an epidemic of violence in our culture today,” said Susan Pollet, executive director of the WJC. “Rates of violence in dating relationships among high school students have been measured at between 9 and 41 percent. Among high school girls surveyed between the ages of 14 to 18, about 20 percent reported that they had been hit, slapped, shoved or forced into sexual activity by a dating partner.”

“This is a male problem and it needs a male solution,” she adds, explaining the continuing emphasis on special education for boys. For girls, the classes teach how to forestall violence, in part by seeking legal protections and penalties.

“Teen dating violence is a serious problem that does not always receive the attention it deserves,” said District Attorney Jeanine Pirro. “With programs such as this, early intervention and education can interrupt the vicious cycle of violence before it escalates.”

The program educates student leaders about dating violence, domestic abuse and other dangerous behavior in the hopes of reducing its occurrence. Specifically it points out the dangers of rape, stalking and other forms of abuse including emotional, psychological and physical.

After the training sessions the student leaders will go back to their schools to help their peers understand what is and is not healthy behavior. The Pace Women’s Justice Center’s Teen Dating Violence Program session will include presentations, videos, and discussion of myths and realities.

Encouraging responsibility in teenage boys for their behavior is one of the immediate goals.

The program is financially supported by EILEEN FISHER, the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound, the Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation and the Women’s Research and Education Fund.

The Pace Women’s Justice Center pioneered 24/7 legal services to battered women. Staff attorneys carry beepers so they can be reached around the clock.

The Center has emerged as the national leader in first response legal services for battered women by partnering with the White Plains Department of Public Safety and other Westchester police departments so victims of domestic violence can receive legal services when they need them most, even at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Each year, the WJC represents over 1,500 battered women and their children in family court. Since 1999 law students have contributed over 10,000 hours of free legal assistance, which have helped garner more than $2,000,000 in child support for victims.

In addition, the Center conducts more than 100 training programs a year in preventing and dealing with domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assaults, and other problems, for thousands of judges, law enforcement officers, attorneys and law students. It has produced public service announcements for the federal Violence Against Women Office, written judicial training manuals and published dozens of articles.

Part of the Pace University School of Law, the WJC recently was given New York Governor George Pataki’s 2003 Justice, Freedom and Courage Award to End Domestic Violence.

Pace is a comprehensive, independent university committed to opportunity, teaching and learning, civic involvement and measurable outcomes. It is one of the ten founders of Project Pericles, developing education that instills lifelong participation in democratic processes. Pace has seven campuses, in New York City and Pleasantville, Briarcliff and White Plains, N.Y., and a Hudson Valley Center at Stewart International Airport near Newburgh, N.Y. More than 14,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, Lienhard School of Nursing and Pace Law School. www.pace.edu.

Women’s Association of Law Students at Pace to Honor New York State Supreme Court Justice, Hon. Sondra Miller

The Women’s Association of Law Students at Pace University School of Law will recognize New York State Supreme Court Justice Hon. Sondra M. Miller at the Third Annual Awards Dinner for a Pioneer of Justice and Equality for Women and the Law.

Contact: Public Affairs
(212) 346-1268
WHAT: The Women’s Association of Law Students at Pace University
School of Law will recognize New York State Supreme Court Justice
Hon. Sondra M. Miller at the Third Annual Awards Dinner for a Pioneer
of Justice and Equality for Women and the Law.
Justice Miller is being honored for her contributions and
ground-breaking achievements in paving the way and setting an example
for women and all legal professionals to follow. Justice Miller was
in the first class to admit women at Harvard Law School, and her
appointment as Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Second
Department, in January 1990, made her the highest ranking female
jurist in the ninth judicial district.
The Women’s Association of Law Students at Pace University is an
organization that educates students and promotes involvement in
women’s issues both in the law and the world. The organization
sponsors educational and community programs leading to a more
knowledgeable, empowered student body.

WHEN: Thursday, April 17, 1997
6:30 p.m. – Reception
7:30 p.m. – Dinner and Award Presentation

WHERE: Preston Hall Tudor Room
Pace University School of Law
78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY

MORE: For tickets, more information or directions, call (914) 422-4292.