International Human Rights Clinic to Appear Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Hear Testimony on Domestic Violence in U.S. Monday Oct. 27

Human Rights Groups Demand U.S. Govt. Implement Changes to Domestic Violence Policy in Accordance with IACHR 2011 Decision

WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union, the International Human Rights Clinic at University of Chicago Law School, and several other human rights groups will appear before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Monday, October 27 to seek justice for domestic violence survivor Jessica Lenahan and domestic violence policy reforms in the U.S.

In 2011, the Commission decided Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States, finding that the government violated the human rights of Ms. Lenahan and her three daughters. The Commission recommended that the government conduct an investigation into its failure to respond to the 1999 domestic violence incident in Castle Rock, Colorado that resulted in the deaths of the three girls and the circumstances of their deaths. It also recommended that the government adopt reforms at the federal and state levels to ensure domestic violence protections.

The U.S. has made almost no progress in providing justice to Lenahan or implementing systemic reforms since the Commission issued the decision.

The organizations appearing before the IACHR are the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, the Human Rights Clinics at the University of Chicago Law School and University of Miami School of Law, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Petitioners will present testimony detailing the United States’ failure to implement changes to domestic violence laws and policies or investigate the failures in Ms. Lenahan's case in the three years since the IACHR decision. The U.S. government will have an opportunity to respond.


Monday, October 27, 2014 10:15 a.m.EDT

Organization of American States, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
1889 F St. N.W., Padilha Vidal Room (TL - Terrace Level), Washington, DC, U.S.A. 20006

The testimony will also be available via webcast at:

Hearing Schedule