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  • ABOUT LEGAL MOMENTUMLegal Momentum was founded as the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1970. We are the oldest national women’s rights legal advocacy organization, with a rich history in litigation and public policy development.
  • Research shows that jurors in sexual assault cases assess the evidence presented through the lens of commonly held misconceptions and myths about rape, rape victims and rapists. Jurors, as members of our communities, embrace stereotypes about what constitutes “real rape,” including expectations about gender roles and “appropriate” behavior by victims before, during and after a reported sexual assault.
  • The presence of an interpreter skilled in sexual assault cases is critical: the victim is traumatized, the court system is frightening, and encountering an unskilled or biased interpreter can be devastating to a victim. Unfortunately, most court interpreters lack training on sexual assault and domestic violence issues. Unqualified or unprofessional court interpreters can mislead both- victims and judges through personal biases or intentional and/or unintentional misinterpretations.
  • The following are just a few examples of the impact NJEP’s educational programs, resources, and publications have had on the judiciary, justice system professionals and educators and victims of sexual assault and gender bias in the courts.IMPACT ON THE JUDICIARY
  • BackgroundIn 1980, Legal Momentum established the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (NJEP) and invited the newly-formed National Association of Women Judges to become NJEP's co-sponsor. Knowledgeable judges, lawyers and journalists warned that the judiciary would never accept gender bias as a legitimate topic for judicial education or be willing to engage in the self-scrutiny necessary to eliminate it.
  • In 1980, Legal Momentum (then called NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund) established the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts, co-sponsored by the then newly-formed National Association of Women Judges. The idea for what became NJEP was first broached at the establishment of Legal Momentum itself in 1970. However making the idea a reality took a decade because of skepticism about the project and its viability.
  • The National Judicial Education Program's (NJEP) judicial education programs were the catalyst for a series of 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. A task force "devoted to the study of gender bias in the courts" was established and each state voted to make implementing the recommendations of the task forces on gender, race and ethnic bias in the courts a priority. The task forces documented discriminatory court decisions, policies and practices and made numerous recommendations to eradicate these barriers to equal justice.
  • NJEP’s resources are utilized by judges, court personnel, prosecutors, law enforcement, victim advocates, probation departments, law professors and others.PRIMERS (Define)


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