Jan. 20, 1994
Vol. 13, No. 10

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    Symposium to address issues of child abuse, domestic viol

    Domestic violence and child abuse and the relationship between the two issues will be addressed in an interdisciplinary symposium sponsored by the Law School Roundtable, "Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and the Law," on Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 22.

    Scholars in psychiatry, sociology, women's studies, public policy and law will address such issues as negligent parents, social support systems for the abused, assaults on spouses, and custodial rights for children at risk.

    Mary Becker, Professor in the Law School and one of the symposium speakers, believes there is a strong need to integrate the study and treatment of domestic violence with that of child abuse.

    "There haven't been many attempts to combine the issues of domestic violence and child abuse, despite the fact that the two are very closely related," she said. "Abused children often are in homes where the mother is also abused."

    The symposium will begin with "Bad Mothers, Good Mothers and the State: Children in the Margin" by Bernardine Dohrn (A.B.'63, J.D.'67), director of the Children and Family Justice Center at the Northwestern University Legal Clinic, at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, in Classroom IV of the Law School.

    The conference will continue at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, in Seminar Room D of the Law School. Becker, who is the author of several articles on child-custody rights, will open the day's presentations with a discussion of social support systems, custody outcomes and liability.

    Other presentations will be "Corporal Punishment by Parents: Implications for Preliminary Prevention of Assaults on Spouses and Children" by Murray Straus, professor of sociology and co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire; "Who Speaks for the Child" by the Hon. Leonard Edwards (J.D.'66) of the Santa Clara County Superior Court in California; "Dangerousness Decisions: An Essay on the Mathematics of Clinical Violence Prediction" by Douglas Mossman, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Wright State University School of Medicine; and "Custodial Choices for Children at Risk: Bias, Subsequentiality and the Law" by Peggy Davis, professor of law at New York University Law School.

    Space for the Saturday session is limited; to reserve a seat, or for more information, call the Roundtable office at 702-0223.

    The Law School Roundtable is a student-edited journal that addresses legal issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. Papers presented at the symposium will be published in the Autumn 1994 Roundtable.