IEFV | Intimate Partner Violence Through the Eyes of the "Dependent" Military Spouse

by School of Law


Wed, Mar 9, 2022

3 PM – 4 PM PST (GMT-8)

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"The military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society." Those words, delivered by Justice William Rehnquist served both to underscore and indulge the insular, isolationist experience of the American military community. Separate though it may be, the military community shares in many the greater ills of modern American society: sexism, substance abuse and Intimate Partner Violence. As is typical of the military and academia, approaches to these issues center almost entirely on the perspective of the military member, and categorize abuse only in terms of the most recent, discrete episodes of physical violence—the tip of the iceberg of most victims' lived experience.

But Intimate Partner Violence is a dual experience, consisting of both the actions of the aggressor and the impacted life of the victim. This presentation by Xander Franklin and Tamara Kuennen, based on their article "Intimate Partner Violence Through the Eyes of the Military 'Dependent' Spouse," seeks to correct the flawed perspectives of previous approaches by shifting the lens away from the aggressor and onto the victim, and by contextualizing the abuse endured within the structural conditions that facilitate it.

In exposing the often-invisible perspective of the civilian partners of military members, abuse is revealed as a continuous process, not a series of episodes—ones often perpetuated by coercive control and micro regulation of everyday life as cultural norms of the military setting. And, in keeping with the emergent trends of IPV scholarship, reconciling the individual indignities suffered by abuse victims will require a resolution of the structural failings that perpetuate them.

Featured Speakers

Xander Franklin is a third year student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, a student attorney with the 18th District Attorney's Office and a Captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He works to prosecute misdemeanor and petty offenses, including acts of domestic violence, occurring both within Douglas County Colorado and oversees training, equipment and deployment of reserve airmen in the 302nd Security Forces Squadron. Prior to law school, he served five years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force leading frontline law enforcement responses on military installations, in addition to roles in anti-terrorism and nuclear security. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a M.A. in Homeland Security Studies from American Military University. Outside of the military, he's worked in association with the Denver Domestic Violence Fatality Review, the Denver Domestic Violence Coordination Council and Women & Children First, an Arkansas domestic violence shelter. He lives in Centennial, Colorado with his wife, Dr. Kathryn Fay, three year old son, Milo, and two fat dogs.

Tamara Kuennen is a Professor of Law in the Civil Litigation Clinic at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where she supervises students who represent survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in obtaining civil protection orders, low-income tenants in defending against evictions and immigrant day laborers who are unpaid for their work. She frequently trains judges as a consulting faculty member for the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence, a partnership of the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and Futures Without Violence. Professor Kuennen's scholarship focuses on how the law could more adequately meet the needs of survivors of intimate partner violence. Before joining the faculty at DU she taught for two years in the Domestic Violence Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where she earned her LL.M. degree in trial advocacy in 2004. Prior to teaching, she practiced at Legal Aid Services of Oregon for five years, representing survivors of domestic violence in a variety of civil cases, including protection orders, domestic relations, public benefits and civil rights litigation. She graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 1996.

This event is approved for 1.0 hour of Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credit by the State Bar of California. UCI School of Law is a State Bar-approved MCLE provider.

NOTE: This event is being recorded for archival, educational and related promotional purposes. All audience members agree to the possibility of appearing on these recordings by virtue of attending the event or participating in the event. Since this is a webinar, your image will not appear during the session.

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