Students from the Penn State Law School’s Family Law Clinic proposed a proclamation declaring freedom from domestic violence to be a fundamental human right. The students proposed the proclamation to State College Mayor, Elizabeth Goreham, in an effort to raise awareness for the issue and place more responsibility on local government.
Mayor Goreham and the State College Borough Council passed the proclamation during last Monday’s weekly meeting. Since 2011, many cities have passed similar proclamations that work to make domestic violence a human-rights issue that local governments must acknowledge in order properly protect their citizens.
Acting as part of the legal team for the Family Law Clinic, third-year students Anna Brady and Morgan Palermo worked with the Clinic’s fellow, Courtney Kiehl, in order to propose the proclamation. Likewise, Brady noted the support of Jill C. Engle, who is both a professor and the director or the Family Law Clinic.
“In 2014, the State College Police Department reported 338 domestic-violence related incidents,” Brady noted. “By issuing such a proclamation, they [the State College Police Department] are bringing awareness and pledging to combat domestic violence. We are hopeful that one day the idea of freedom from domestic violence will be seen across the United States and the world as a fundamental human right.”
Although they are extremely excited about the passage of the proclamation, Brady also noted that, in their success, the students always want to remember the victims of domestic violence.