Legal Advocacy Caucus
The Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s four Legal Advocacy Caucuses are the primary vehicle through which legal advocates from ODVN membership programs work together on a state-wide level. These caucuses provide a forum to develop goals and model policies to govern our work and to refine our understanding of the role of justice system advocacy. These caucuses will also provide training and technical assistance to its members and regularly includes court personnel, attorneys and other experts in the work. All four of ODVN’s Legal Advocacy Caucuses are committed to developing the leadership skills of legal advocates.
The Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s Legal Advocacy Caucuses were established primarily for legal advocates to obtain training on issues regarding domestic violence and stalking, to discuss criminal and civil court advocacy issues, to obtain public policy updates that affect the laws in their counties or the entire state of Ohio, and to provide a networking platform as well.
Currently there are four legal advocacy caucuses that represent Ohio regions: Northeast, Northwest, Southwest Central and Southeast. The Ohio Domestic Violence Network continues to have bimonthly or quarterly meetings for each of the caucuses. The leadership of the caucuses is shared by ODVN staff and justice system advocates from membership programs. The caucuses make a concerted effort at sharing leadership between old and new advocates. These caucuses are always seeking to be consistently accountable to battered women. All caucuses are attentive both to process and product in an attempt to be inclusive, empowering and diverse. In the work that justice systems advocates do, we ask that they consistently assess whether the legal and social systems are providing effective remedies for battered women and seek to change those systems which are not. This process of evaluation always looks at the work we have done with a critical eye whether we are enhancing law, public policy, procedure or practice.
Caucus Membership Eligibility
Caucus membership is open to all domestic violence program legal advocates or other staff, volunteers, steering committee members, or allied professional with in interest in affecting social change through justice system advocacy.
Goals and Objectives:
- To educate the ODVN membership on laws and legal practices in the field of domestic violence
- To facilitate and monitor the implementation of domestic violence laws at local, state, and federal levels
- To respond to the needs of justice system advocacy concerns raised by domestic violence programs
- To respond to the needs of legal advocates for direction, support, and training information
- To assure that legal advocates in Ohio are skilled and knowledgeable in their work
- To build a network of skilled, informed legal advocates working collaboratively to assure excellence in justice system advocacy throughout the state