In one of the most in-depth discussions to date on violence against women in the United States, and to coincide with International Women’s Day, I interviewed Susan B. Carbon, Director of the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).
Ms. Carbon was nominated to this position by President Barack Obama on October 1, 2009 and confirmed by the United States Senate on February 11, 2010. As Director, she serves as the liaison between the Department of Justice and federal, state, tribal, and international governments on crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. In this role, she is responsible for developing the Department’s legal and policy positions regarding the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and oversees an annual budget of nearly $400 million.
Rahim Kanani: How would you characterize the landscape of justice today with respect to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking here in the United States?
Susan Carbon: Although violent crime has decreased nationwide, the crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking still devastate the lives of too many women, men, youth, and children. Since then-Senator Biden brought national attention to crimes of violence against women in hearings in 1990, we have learned more about their shocking prevalence. One in every four women and one in every seven men have experienced severe physical violence by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Stalkers victimize approximately 5.2 million women and 1.4 million men each year in the U.S, with domestic violence-related stalking the most common type of stalking and often the most dangerous. One in ten 9th-12th grade students were physically hurt on…