Legal Momentum

The Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund


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National Judicial Education Program

National Judicial Education Program


The National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) is a unique, award-winning project which pioneered judicial education about gender bias and was the catalyst for and advisor to over 50 high level state and federal task forces on gender bias in the courts nationwide.

The National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) educates judges, attorneys, and justice system professionals about the ways in which gender bias can undermine fairness in criminal, civil, family, and juvenile law.  NJEP has a particular focus on sexual assault cases and cases involving the intersection of sexual assault and domestic violence. NJEP creates resources and provides training on these issues to promote the fair adjudication of these cases.

Learn more about NJEP's history →


Fair Adjudication of Sexual Assault Cases

In sexual assault cases, deeply held stereotypes and misconceptions can undermine fairness in the court systems, especially in cases where the victim and perpetrator know each other, which are the vast majority of cases. Justice system professionals, including judges, attorneys, law enforcement officers, probation and parole professionals, and victim advocates require factual information about the realities of sexual assault in order to ensure that these cases are handled fairly. NJEP provides training and has created educational resources to promote the fair adjudication of these cases, and to help the justice system develop techniques to minimize victim re-traumatization while safeguarding the rights of the defendant.

Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse: The Hidden Dimension of Domestic Violence

Intimate partner sexual abuse (IPSA) is an often-overlooked aspect of domestic violence cases with important implications for courts, service providers, and law enforcement.  IPSA encompasses a continuum of behaviors—from verbal degradation relating to sexuality to felony-level sexual abuse and torture. Domestic violence and sexual assault are often treated as distinct forms of violence running parallel but never intersecting, when in reality many abusers who perpetrate physical abuse also subject their victims to sexual abuse.  IPSA has in part received so little attention because marital rape was not considered a crime in the United States until recently.  NJEP works to ensure that victims of domestic violence who are also victims of sexual abuse are identified and receive the additional protection and services they need.

Featured Resources

Task Forces on Gender Bias in the Courts

NJEP was the catalyst for and advisor to over 50 high-level task forces established by state chief justices, state supreme courts, and federal circuit councils to examine gender bias in their own court systems and recommend reforms.  The task forces documented discriminatory court decisions, policies, and practices.  They made numerous recommendations to eradicate these barriers to fair adjudication and fair employment in the courts.

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