Only 170,000 low-income domestic violence survivors have legal representation each year, fewer than 20 percent of at least 1 million victims who experience it annually, says Women’s eNews. Senior Senate Judiciary Committee memer Joseph Biden (D-DE) wants to create an electronic network of 100,000 lawyers willing to do volunteer work on behalf of victims. He will push a bill to set up a fund to help a separate group of lawyers–those who spend a majority of their time on behalf of domestic violence victims–pay back school loans.
The median salary for a lawyer who joins a private firm is $85,000, while the average entry-level public sector salary is $35,000. Most lawyers graduate with a combined debt from undergraduate and graduate school of more than $80,000. Domestic violence in the U.S. is dropping, a sign that the 1994 Violence Against Women Act is working, says Allison Randall of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Biden also will propose legislation to combat violence against women at an international level. Called I-VAWA, for International Violence Against Women Act, the bill would include remedies in the areas of public health, the global economy, foreign law, international conflicts and humanitarian crises, says Esta Soler the Family Violence Prevention Fund.