About

Our mission is to support the Arkansas Judiciary through education and training in the area of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking to ensure a court system that is accessible and fair to all. 

Loving couple

In the last decade, Arkansas ranked at or near the top 10 states with the highest incidence of domestic violence homicides. One of our goals as a program is to reduce the rate of homicides caused by domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

How do we do this?

We do this by holding batterers accountable and responsible for their actions while supporting the victim's needs for safety and security. The evidence demonstrates when courts become more efficient in how they handle these kinds of cases through improved practices and procedures for orders of protection and no-contact orders, improved batterer intervention programs and stricter enforcement of laws and orders, incidence related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking are reduced.  

Education, Training, Collaboration, and Leadership

Courts adopting consistent procedures and policies with regard to victim safety and batterer accountability significantly reduce the incidences of death related to intimate partner violence. Judges who understand the context of this kind of violence, and who understand the increased risk of death to family members, law enforcement and the community make better more informed decisions.

To support the judges in this effort, the Domestic Violence Program works with law enforcement and probation officers, district and circuit clerks, the prosecutors offices and the public defenders offices, legal services and private bar associations, legal advocates and victim-witness coordinators, shelters, and family services programs with the goal of advancing access to justice in our courts and in our communities. 

The Domestic Violence Program envisions a future where the incidences of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking are reduced throughout our state.  

History

Created in 2011, to provide judges and their stakeholders with education, training, and resources, the Domestic Violence Program coordinated a statewide domestic violence conference, trained judges, court personnel, lawyers and service providers on the dynamics of intimate partner violence - including dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The program has also worked with partners to provide training on the effects of domestic violence on children.

The Domestic Violence Program works closely with Circuit and Appellate Court Judges on the Arkansas Judicial Council Domestic Violence Advisory Committee and with District Court Judges on the Arkansas District Judges Council Domestic Violence Advisory Committee. 

The Domestic Violence Program works closely with Circuit and Appellate Court Judges on the Arkansas Judicial Council Domestic Violence Advisory Committee and with District Court Judges on the Arkansas District Judges Council Domestic Violence Advisory Committee.

In the last year, the Domestic Violence Program has been involved in several statewide projects, including:

  • Task-force membership to plan and implement Act 873 Laura's Card and Act 877 Laura's Law
  • Collaboration to write a Pro Se Guidebook with the Arkansas Bar Association, Young Lawyers' Division, the Center for Arkansas Legal, Peace at Home Shelter, Prosecutor Coordinator's Office, the University of Little Rock Bowen School of Law, and the University of Arkansas School of Law
  • Collaboration with the Arkansas District Judges Council to establish a District Judges' Domestic Violence Advisory Committee
  • Creation of Best Practices Bench Cards Templates for the Arkansas Judiciary to use when deciding cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

Our Partners

Along with the Circuit and Appellate Court Judges on the Arkansas Judicial Council Domestic Violence Advisory Committee and the District Court Judges on the Arkansas District Judges Council Domestic Violence Advisory Committee, the Domestic Violence Program works closely with the Administrative Office of the Courts Juvenile Division and the Court Improvement Project as well as Court Interpreter Services and Alternative Dispute Resolution Services.

State Partners include:

  • Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Arkansas Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • Arkansas Legal Services Partnership
  • Center for Arkansas Legal Services
  • Legal Aid of Arkansas
  • Arkansas Attorney General's Office
  • Arkansas Office of Prosecutor Coordinator
  • Carroll County Sheriff's Department
  • Peace at Home Shelter
  • Criminal Justice Institute at the University of Arkansas

National Partners include:

  • National Center for State Courts
  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • Futures Without Violence
  • National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence