White House Event on The Importance of the Violence Against Women Act - Honorable Karen Adam, Panelist

April 19, 2012

On April 18, 2012 in Washington, D.C., Vice President Biden convened over a hundred and fifty leading national advocates to listen to six distinguished panelists, including the Honorable Karen Adam, Presiding Judge of the Pima County Juvenile Court in Tucson, Arizona and a recent Trustee of the NCJFCJ, to discuss the importance of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Administration’s efforts to reduce domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking victimization.

The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is coming up for a vote in the Senate at the end of this week or the beginning of the next. In light of that, the White House offered a look at how domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking were handled in the country before and after VAWA.

Vice President Biden spoke about his dedication to developing and implementing federal laws that protect victims of these crimes, and was joined by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President; and Lynn Rosenthal, Special Advisor to the President on Violence Against Women issues. Domestic violence advocate and Emmy Award-winning journalist Paula Zahn of the Discovery Channel moderated a panel discussion on improved practices accredited to VAWA and prospective goals. The panel consists of community leaders and advocates. Special remarks were offered by Sharon Love, the mother of Yeardley Love, a University of Virginia student who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

Superior Court Judge, Karen S. Adam, spoke on the panel, along with Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown; Rev. Dr. Anne Marie Hunter, Director of Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence; Dave Thomas, Program Administrator, Division of Public Safety Leadership at Johns Hopkins University; and Devon Boyer, Councilman, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.

Judge Adam talked about what the courts did prior to the Violence Against Women Act--how little training they had on these very complex victimization issues--and how judicial handling of these cases has changed dramatically, thanks to VAWA's impact. Brown spoke of the impact of domestic violence in his own family, and how his cousin’s murder at the hands of her husband might have been averted with the resources VAWA now makes available. Thomas is a former law enforcement officer from Montgomery County, Maryland, who is now a leading national trainer of law enforcement officers on VAWA issues at Johns Hopkins University. Hunter is a survivor of domestic violence who has become a minister (after escaping her abuser). Boyer is a former tribal law enforcement officer and an expert on the horrific levels of victimization that Native American women face on tribal lands (due to the limited tribal court jurisdiction under federal law).

Judge Adam is the Presiding Judge of the Pima County Juvenile and Drug Courts in Tucson, AZ, a member of the NCJFCJ, and frequent lecturer on juvenile and family law topics, including self-represented litigation issues. She is dean of the Judicial College of Arizona, and has served on the AZ Supreme Court Domestic Relations Committee, is past president of the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and is a former Board Member of the NCJFCJ.

Click here to view the panel discussion.

Since its founding in 1937, the NCJFCJ, based on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, has been in the forefront of addressing issues pertaining to juvenile and family law and is a leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development. The NCJFCJ is the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization with more than 1,800 members.


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For additional information, please contact:

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges · PO Box 8970 · Reno, NV 89507


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