The Ongoing Debate About Mediation in the Context of Domestic Violence: A Call for Empirical Studies of Mediation Effectiveness

12 CARDOZO J. CONFLICT RESOL. 425 (2011)

46 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2014 Last revised: 26 Jul 2014

See all articles by Susan Landrum

Susan Landrum

St. John's University School of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2011

Abstract

For approximately three decades, scholars, mediators, and domestic violence victims’ advocates have debated whether mediation is an appropriate way to approach family law issues where the parties have a history of domestic violence. Those debates have addressed whether mediation is ever appropriate where there is a history of domestic violence and, if so, when it may be used and how the mediation process can provide for victims’ safety and fair mediation outcomes. There has also been much discussion about the need for mediator and attorney training on domestic violence issues, the proper design of effective screening processes, and the form that these mediations should take. Regardless of the diverse views about whether mediation of family law issues should ever take place and what mediation processes should be utilized when mediation participants have has a history of domestic violence, both anecdotal and empirical evidence makes clear that domestic violence victims do regularly participate in mediations. After summarizing the current state of the debate and the various approaches that mediators and mediation programs have taken in order to address this issue, this article argues that more empirical research is necessary to determine what approaches are most effective and what can be done to further develop mediation programs that protect victims of domestic violence and create opportunities for fair mediation outcomes. The article ends with a description of what the content of such a study might look like.

Keywords: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, family law, mediation, screening, mediator training

Suggested Citation

Landrum, Susan, The Ongoing Debate About Mediation in the Context of Domestic Violence: A Call for Empirical Studies of Mediation Effectiveness (May 1, 2011). 12 CARDOZO J. CONFLICT RESOL. 425 (2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2416889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2416889

Susan Landrum (Contact Author)

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States

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