Funded by State Justice Institute and published in October 2001, this curriculum provides state court judges a unique educational opportunity to become more culturally competent in domestic violence cases. The Curriculum incorporates the content of Cultural Considerations in Domestic Violence Cases: A National Judges Benchbook (FVPF 1999) and gives it educational life through practical courtroom exercises.
The Curriculum includes five teaching modules that focus on:
The Curriculum can help judges become better able to perform the following tasks:
- defining culture and cultural competence;
- special issues in improving cultural competence;
- applying culture in cases involving domestic violence;
- evaluating culture and domestic violence issues in cases under the Indian Child Welfare Act; and
- considerations in cases involving immigrant battered women.
The curriculum can be freely adapted to fit each state or regions needs. There is a section that discusses how to adapt and replicate the education modules to each particular program. The curriculum also includes PC formatted 3.5" diskette of all materials in MS Word format for easy adaptation.
- Define the terms "culture" and "cultural competence" and identify ways in which culture is relevant in the courtroom.
- Recognize stereotypes and cultural misinformation and avoid assumptions about a person or the facts of a situation based on misinformation.
- Assess cultural dynamics that cause women to hide domestic violence and make them reluctant to seek assistance from institutions.
- Evaluate the qualifications and credibility of cultural experts as witnesses in domestic violence cases, analyze the potential purposes and uses of cultural information, determine when to admit it as evidence, and assess the weight given to the evidence.
- Assess the impact of culture on sentencing decisions, juvenile delinquency dispositions, custody and visitation, and juvenile dependency proceedings.
- Identify areas of exclusive tribal court jurisdiction and concurrent tribal and state court jurisdiction over Indian children under ICWA, and avoid exercises of jurisdiction that impinge on tribal court sovereignty over tribe members.
- Understand the potential dynamics between immigrant battered women and their abusers in cases involving domestic violence.
- Evaluate the potential impact of immigration status on the factual information that might be provided or available to the court and an immigrant battered woman's petition for lawful permanent residence.