On March 8, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli ’91 returned to Harvard Law School to discuss the Department of Justice’s new violence against women initiative. The third ranking official at DOJ, Perrelli’s visit was the third in a series of talks organized by Dean Martha Minow entitled “Views from Washington,” bringing leading members of the Obama administration to Harvard Law School to share their experiences with students.
Perrelli’s visit also marked the first stop on a month-long college campus tour sponsored by DOJ aimed at raising awareness of violence against women. Perrelli spoke with students about ways to prevent violence against women, and the role that federal, state, and local governments should play in preventing gender-related violence.
Perrelli said renewing the focus on violence against women is just one way the administration is trying to “make government work for the people.” He said that his office hopes to “find innovative ways to make justice happen.”
Focusing on college campuses is important, Perrelli explained, because colleges are places where sexual violence occurs. He said the Department hopes to encourage University administrators to consider a holistic approach that includes advocacy and awareness campaigns, identifying best practices, promotion of evidence-based solutions, and proper funding.
Lecturer on Law Diane Rosenfeld LL.M. ’96, who served as a senior counsel in the Violence Against Women Office in DOJ prior to joining the HLS faculty, invited students in her Gender, Violence, and the Law Seminar to participate in the discussion with Perrelli. The students proposed policies that might be adopted to stop gender-related violence. Among the policies discussed were: GPS monitoring of domestic violence offenders, batterer detention facilities, better training of law enforcement, and the funding of enforcement mechanisms.
Later this month, Professor Jody Freeman LL.M. ’91 S.J.D. ’95 will give the next talk in the “Views from Washington” series. She will discuss her year working in the White House as Counselor for Energy and Climate Change.