Legislative and Community-Based Advocacy in Tompkins County, New York Seeking Recognition of Freedom from Domestic Violence as a Human Right
- Study on Gaps and Challenges in Domestic Violence Prevention and Response in Tompkins County
- Domestic Violence and the Workplace Toolkit and Policy
- Tompkins County Legislature
- Ithaca Town Board
- Lansing Town Board
Village of Cayuga Heights
- Tompkins County Council of Governments
- Ithaca Common Council
In collaboration with the Global Gender Justice Clinic and the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice has been advocating for the adoption of one or more local resolutions in Ithaca and Tompkins County recognizing freedom from domestic violence a human right. In October 2014, the Center drafted the proposed resolution and prepared an accompanying background paper that discusses the prevalence of domestic violence globally and locally, the challenges in responding to it, the legal and historical basis for recognizing freedom from domestic violence a human right, and the value of adopting the proposed resolution.
As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Center engaged with the wider Ithaca community through public education events organized by the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County and launched a petition to gather local support for the proposed resolution. The Center organized a film screening of "Telling Amy's Story" at Cornell Law School to raise awareness about the experience of domestic abuse, barriers for victims seeking safety, and the important role that all members of the community have in preventing future tragedies. The Center also organized a panel discussion with students of the Global Gender Justice Clinic and Advocacy Center of Tompkins County staff to discuss our efforts in seeking adoption of this resolution.
On November 18, 2014, the Tompkins County Legislature unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing that freedom from domestic violence is a fundamental human right. For more information about the adopted resolution, please click here. On December 8, 2014, the Ithaca Town Board followed and adopted a similar resolution. The following week, on December 17, 2014, the Lansing Town Board adopted a similar resolution, as did the Village of Cayuga Heights on January 12, 2015. The Tompkins County Council of Governments additionally passed a resolution declaring freedom from domestic violence a human right on January 22, 2015. Lastly, the Ithaca Common Council passed another similar resolution on March 4, 2015. Nationwide, 24 county, town, and municipal governments have also recognized this right through resolutions.
The Center and Clinic will continue their advocacy efforts and focus on two strategies for implementing these resolutions to ensure direct and meaningful protections for survivors of domestic violence in our community. The Clinic will carry out these strategies in partnership with the Advocacy Center, the Tompkins County Office of Human Rights, and the Tompkins County Human Rights Commission.
The first strategy for implementation is the creation of domestic violence and the workplace guidelines and toolkit for government and private employers in Tompkins County. Working with its partners, the team will create a model policy informed by best practices and will facilitate the adoption of the guidelines by the bodies that passed resolutions and ultimately by private employers as well.
The second implementation strategy is to conduct a study of the current landscape of county, local, government, and community responses to domestic violence and delivery of services to survivors.
The Human Right to be Free from Domestic Violence, Cornell Daily Sun, February 4, 2016
The Human Right to be Free from Domestic Violence: Panel Discusses Advocacy Projects in Tompkins County, Cornell Law School Spotlight, November 5, 2015
Ithaca Community Takes Back the Night, The Ithacan, April 26, 2015
Another NY Locality Declares Domestic Violence a Human Rights Violation, Human Rights at Home Blog, April 6, 2015
Ithaca and Tompkins County's Domestic Violence Human Rights Resolutions: A Step in the Right Direction, Brenden Kelsey McKim's Blog, March 27, 2015
Domestic Violence Resolution Passed by Local Legislators, Ithaca Week, March 23, 2015
- City: Freedom from Domestic Violence is a Human Right, Ithaca Journal, March 15, 2015
- Court Consolidation Under Review, Ithaca.com, February 1, 2015
- Domestic Violence Resolution Presented at City Administration, Ithaca.com, January 28, 2015
TCCOG Recommends Panel to Study Municipal Court System, The Lansing Star, January 23, 2015
- With 100s of Domestic Violence Cases a Year, Tompkins Gov. Takes Step Forward, Ithaca Voice, January 13, 2015
Lansing Condemns Domestic Violence, The Lansing Star, December 26, 2014
- Cornell Law Students Help Tompkins County become Fourteenth Locality to Declare Freedom From Domestic Violence a Human Right, Cornell Law Spotlight, December 8, 2014
A Student Perspective on Human Rights Advocacy, Human Rights at Home Blog, December 5, 2014
- Barely Legal: A Human Rights Approach to Domestic Violence, Cornell Daily Sun, October 17, 2014
- #DVFree: Implementing the Human Right to be Free from Domestic Violence in Tompkins County, NY
#GoPurpleTompkins, photo campaign during Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2015
Screening of Telling Amy's Story, Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2015
Signed on to a coalition letter to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding gender-biased policing
- Spoke at Ithaca's
Take Back the Night Rally 2015 (
- Podcast Resolving to Stop Domestic Violence, WRFI Community Radio, April 17, 2015
Screening of Telling Amy's Story, Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2014
Panel Discussion: Recognizing Freedom From Domestic Violence as a Human Right in Tompkins County, NY
- Podcast Talk of the Town: Joanne Joseph and Carolyn Matos, Global Gender Justice Clinic: Freedom from domestic violence, WVBR 93.5 FM, October 25, 2014
Domestic Violence Awareness Month Photo Campaign
Community Petition (over 400 signatures)