Unsheltered at Home: COVID-19, Guns and Domestic Violence

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 98 minutes
Recorded Date: May 20, 2020
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  • Learn how the courts have responded to domestic violence cases
  • Learn practical applications and best practices to represent domestic violence clients during Covid-19
  • Gain insight into the intersection of domestic violence and gun violence
  • Learn the ABA response and available resources for practitioners, victims and service providers

Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes
Recorded: May 20, 2020


The current pandemic has created a crisis for victims of domestic violence. National estimates suggest that rates of domestic violence have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. Victims of domestic violence find themselves sheltering in place and unable to escape those that commit abuse against them.

This national crisis has limited access to some of the traditional support and assistance that victims could rely on, and provided more opportunity for abusers to cause harm behind closed doors. This program will focus on victim safety, gun violence, access to courts and other issues relating to domestic violence and coronavirus. Best practices across the country will be highlighted and discussed.

This program was recorded on May 20th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Paige Flink

The Family Place

A vocal advocate for ending violence against women, Paige Flink is the Executive Director of The Family Place, the Dallas area’s leading organization delivering proven programs that address emotional and physical abuse and incest. When The Family Place began its work in family violence, there were no laws in Dallas protecting battered women, no policies for the arrest of batterers, and no shelters to save lives. Today Dallas is a national model for its integrated response to domestic violence victims, and Paige has been instrumental in changing public perception and the community’s response.

Through Paige’s leadership, The Family Place has become a national model in the delivery of family violence services. Paige joined The Family Place in 1991 and became its Executive Director in 1997. A graduate of Leadership Dallas, member of the Dallas Assembly and Charter 100, Paige serves on the City of Dallas Domestic Violence Task Force and the Family Violence Prevention Council, and is on the board of the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance.

Paige has received local and national recognition for her work on behalf of victims, including the Peace Award from the Sunshine Lady Foundation, the Women’s Advocacy Award from Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, and the Women’s Center of Dallas Maura Award. Mosaic Family Services named her 2012 Champion of Human Rights.

Paige’s national work against family violence includes leading the Youth Services Panel for the Decade for Change Summit, an effort of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison nominated Paige to serve as moderator at the Business and Professional Women’s Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.

A passionate voice for family violence victims, Paige regularly addresses the Texas Legislature and is a frequent contributor to local print, radio and television news broadcasts on family violence and victims’ rights issues. She is a participant in the OpEd Project through the Texas Women’s University Public Voices Thought Leadership Institute.

Carolyn Thomas

CEO & Founder
Voices 4 All

Carolyn Thomas is the CEO & Founder of Voices 4 All.

Hon. Bernadette G. D'Souza

Civil District Court in Louisiana

Bernadette D'Souza is a judge for Division K, Domestic Section 1 of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court in Louisiana. Her current term ends on December 31, 2020.

D'Souza (Democratic Party) is running for re-election for the Division K, Domestic Section 1 judge of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court in Louisiana. She is on the ballot in the primary election on November 3, 2020.

After graduation, she pursued a legal career dedicated to public interest law, taking on cases regarding family law, housing and domestic violence. D'Souza has served over 18 years as a practicing attorney, many of which were spent as managing attorney for the family law unit at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services.

She has also served as an adjunct professor as Tulane Law School, teaching courses on domestic violence laws.

D'Souza received her J.D. from Tulane University School of Law in 1992.

Judy Perry Martinez

Immediate Past President
American Bar Association

Judy Perry Martinez of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn in New Orleans is Immediate Past President of the American Bar Association, the largest voluntary association of attorneys and legal professionals in the world.

Over the past 35 years, Martinez has held various leadership positions with the ABA, including chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates all nominees to the federal bench. Earlier, she served as the ABA’s lead representative to the United Nations and as a member of the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee.

She also has served on numerous ABA committees dealing with critical issues in law and society. She served as chair of the ABA’s Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services and its Commission on Domestic Violence. She was a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the ABA Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, and the Council of the ABA Center on Diversity.

Between 2003 and 2015, while at Northrop Grumman Corporation, Martinez served as assistant general counsel-litigation before becoming vice president and chief compliance officer in 2011. After retiring from the aerospace and cyberspace industry, she spent a year as a fellow in residence at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. Martinez returned to Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, where she had worked as a commercial litigator from 1982 to 2003, rising to partner and member of the management committee.

Martinez has held several leadership positions within the New Orleans and Louisiana State Bar Associations, and she served on the board of the Innocence Project-New Orleans, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and as an officer of the World Justice Project. She also has served as a Distinguished Access to Justice Pro Bono Fellow for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. Among her various honors, Martinez received the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Counsel, the Distinguished Attorney Award from the Louisiana Bar Foundation, the Alliance for Justice Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association, and the Michelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award from the Association of Women Attorneys. She was honored in 2017 with the Louisiana State Bar Association’s David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the New Orleans Bar Association’s Presidents’ Award.

She is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation, a member of the American Law Institute, and a former member of the board of directors of the American Bar Foundation.

Martinez earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans and her juris doctor, with honors, from Tulane Law School.

Angela Adkins Downes

Assistant Director - Experimental Education
UNT Dallas College of Law

Professor Downes serves as Assistant Director of Experiential Education at UNT Dallas College of Law, where she teaches classes in domestic violence and interpersonal violence issues. Professor Downes’ law career has focus on public service, policy, and legislative efforts to protect the public trust. After positions with the Collin and Dallas counties’ District Attorney’s offices, Professor Downes previously served as the Attorney for Court Programs at the national office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the largest nonprofit dedicated to drunk driving and impaired driving issues. She is a former Senior Attorney at the National District Attorneys Association in Alexandria, Virginia, where she focused on child abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, victims’ rights, and elder abuse.

She is a frequent trainer on domestic violence cultural competency, implicit bias and diversity issues. Prof. Downes has provided training, policy expertise and technical assistance to non-profit agencies on the interpersonal violence issues of child abuse, child protection, domestic violence, human trafficking, and elder abuse. She is a recognized subject matter expert on interpersonal violence issues.

Professor Downes was appointed by the governor to serve on the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists and was re-appointed in 2013. The Board is the regulatory and licensing agency for psychologists in the state. She also served as a member of the Texas Violent Gang Taskforce from 2001-2004. Professor Downes also serves as an associate municipal judge for the City of Glenn Heights,Texas.

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