The Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994 during the Clinton administration and brought a necessary response to ongoing domestic violence.
The signing of this act was a bipartisan commitment to battling domestic abuse.
The 20th anniversary of the act was celebrated this past Saturday at Beasley School of Law with a symposium.
The day was divided into different panels that discussed topics including: the myth of Battered Woman Syndrome, consequences of intimate partner violence, and problems with state response.
Panels consisted of experts from Washington DC, Penn State University and Pittsburgh.
Kit Kinports, a Professor of Law at Penn State, stresses the importance of teaching from a young age.
“Young men and young women need to be taught that violence is not acceptable in relationships. That it’s not the norm, and its not something you have to put up with.”
In addition to guest speakers, Temple University’s own Marina Angel spoke on a panel against diagnosing abused women with Battered Woman Syndrome.
As former Chair of Temple’s disciplinary committee, Professor Angel has had first-hand experience dealing with abused women and abusive men.
Professor Angel shares her views on the current operation of the University Disciplinary Committee.
“The first time an intimate partner violence case walked in, I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it was happening, but since then there have been a lot of them, and unfortunately there hasn’t been much training of the personnel running the disciplinary proceedings now.”
Professor Angel and the rest of the panelists insist that education is the best way to continue spreading change.