Albany City and County Declare Freedom from Domestic Violence to be a Fundamental Human Right

2/14/2013 | Facebook|Twitter|Email
City and county among first in nation to recognize need for global response to domestic violence
Emily von Werlhof '14

Collaboration between the Albany Law School Family Violence Litigation Clinic & Immigration Project, the Albany County Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (ACCADA), and concerned citizens has positioned Albany as one of the first places in the nation to acknowledge the obligations of the United States to hold itself accountable to international law regarding domestic violence.

Since October of last year, the Albany County Executive, Albany City Common Council, and Albany County Legislature have each passed proclamations or unanimous resolutions declaring that freedom from domestic violence is a fundamental human right.

“There are too few communities that have made this important commitment,” said Albany Law School Professor Sarah Rogerson, who is director of the law school’s Family Violence Litigation Clinic & Immigration Project. “Albany, at the city and county levels, joins Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Miami-Dade County in sending a clear message that local governments support international law and the domestication of compliance efforts to stop domestic violence.”

“This was truly a community effort, with letters of support collected from law enforcement agencies, domestic violence services providers, survivors of domestic violence, and advocates throughout Albany County,” said Yvonne Masse, coordinator of ACCADA.

“Passing these resolutions underscores the commitment of officials in Albany to comprehensive domestic violence prevention programs and training, enhancing coordination and consistency in all of our efforts,” said Lisa Frisch, Executive Director of The Legal Project.

From left, Albany Councilwoman Catherine Fahey, Yvonne Masse and Kristin Rogers '13

Eight Albany Law School students were involved in the effort, with two, Kristin Rogers '13 and Emily von Werlhof '14, giving public testimony in support of the resolutions. In the Family Violence Litigation Clinic & Immigration Project, students argue cases in court on behalf of persons who have suffered violence at the hands of intimate partners or family members, including immigrant victims.

ACCADA is a county-wide coalition of service providers, law enforcement officials, survivors, academics, county representatives, advocates, and other interested community groups that convenes to develop an integrated community response to domestic abuse in Albany County.