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Cultural awareness is a critical dimension of responding to domestic violence and sexual assault. Culture refers to a “shared set of beliefs, norms, and values” that are dynamic (changing) and may be related to the thousands of social groupings in existence, including age, gender, ethnicity, profession, geographic location, and socio-economic status. Not only is an understanding of culture necessary for procedural justice, culture is also part of contextualizing domestic violence and sexual assault, guarding against implicit bias, and framing a court’s response in the most effective manner.


  • The Lens of Implicit Bias

    Written by NCJFCJ's former Juvenile Law Chief Program Officer, Dr. Shawn Marsh. This short article elaborates on how humans perceive their reality through a lens of implicit bias, which operates below the conscious level.

  • Opens in new windowWorking With Interpreters in the Courtroom: A Benchcard for Judges

    This benchcard was designed by the New York State Unified Court System and is an excellent bench resource for judges who frequently work with interpreters.

  • Opens in new windowCultural Responsiveness in the Courts

    The Institute for Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) created and designed this PowerPoint presentation in 2013 which contains real life statements of survivors who appeared in front of domestic violence judges and their perception of cultural responsiveness.

  • Opens in new window and different websiteCultural Responsiveness and the Courts (video)

    For a justice system to be truly just, it must be accessible to all individuals. However, litigants may face challenges when courts are not responsive to their cultural identities. For survivors of domestic violence, these challenges present additional barriers to accessing justice and obtaining fair outcomes. This short video, Building a Culture of Justice, explains how justice-system staff and stakeholders can serve litigant needs by implementing culturally-responsive practices in courts handling domestic violence cases.