Week 2

Wednesday, Feburary 5, 2014
4:15-5:45 p.m.


Study Group

The Global Movement to
End Violence Against Women


Topic: Whose Liberty? Rethinking Rape Law and the Status of Women as Victims in the Criminal Justice System

Presenter: Wendy J. Murphy, JD, Adjunct Professor, Sexual Violence Law, New England Law School

About the Session:

Despite more than forty years of reform efforts, rape law remains ineffective as a mechanism for the redress and prevention of sexual violence. This lecture will address why reforms failed, and how a redesign of the legal baseline will more effectively prevent sexual violence by shifting the legal lens away from regulation of sex and toward protection of autonomy and advancement of women's equality.

Suggested Readings:

 More about the presenter:

Wendy J. Murphy is adjunct professor of sexual violence law at New England Law|Boston where she has taught for more than ten years. She developed and directs two projects in conjunction with the school's Center for Law and Social Responsibility. The "Sexual Violence Legal News" project is an alert service that distributes appellate cases of interest, with editorial comment, related to interpersonal violence. The "Judicial Language Project" uses socio-linguistic research to critique the language used in law and society to describe violence against women and children. She also created and manages the JD/PhD project which brings together law students and PhD students who work across disciplines to produce legal critiques of new research related to interpersonal violence for the purpose of expediting the delivery of social science into legal decision-making.

She was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School from 2002-2003 where her work focused on the status of women in their capacity as victims in the criminal justice system. Wendy previously taught "Reproductive Rights and Technologies" at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in 2002 served as the Mary Joe Frug Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at New England Law|Boston where she has also taught courses in reproductive technologies and constitutional criminal procedure.

Wendy is a former child abuse and sex crimes prosecutor who now specializes in the representation of crime victims, women, children and victim service providers. She is an impact litigator and appellate attorney who founded the Victim Advocacy & Research Group, a volunteer legal advocacy organization that has provided free legal services to victims in the criminal justice system since 1992.