Justice and Courage Project

Justice and Courage Information

The Justice and Courage Project arose out of the 2000 murder of Claire Joyce Tempongko by her ex-boyfriend, Tari Ramirez. San Francisco's criminal justice system was not able to save this victim of domestic violence, and the Commission on the Status of Women formed the Justice and Courage Project to discover why. In 2002, the Commission released the report Justice and Courage: A Blueprint for San Francisco's Reponse to Domestic Violence. After the release of the Report, the Commission established the Justice and Courage Oversight Panel, which seeks to create a seamless criminal justice response to domestic violence.


The Oversight Panel has undertaken several key initiatives in recent years.


Woman1*San Francisco Domestic Violence Safety and Accountability Audit
In March 2007, the Justice & Courage Oversight Panel issued the report, "Safety for All: Identifying and Closing the Gaps in San Francisco's Domestic Violence Criminal Justice Response," (pdf) which used highly collaborative research methods to discover continuing gaps in San Francisco's response to domestic violence. The new report identified 5 significant areas for continued work:
  1. language access for limited English-speaking proficient victims of domestic violence;
  2. policies to identify and address stalking,
  3. improved batterer accountability,
  4. the system's inability to identify the complexity of risk that victims face depending on their background, and
  5. the system's inability to assess the degree of danger that a victim faces.

Participants in the Audit included the Adult Probation Department, Office of the District Attorney, Police Department, Sheriff's Department, Department on the Status of Women, San Francisco Superior Courts, Department of Emergency Management (9-1-1), community-based organizations and domestic violence service providers, and the public. The Oversight Panel formed the Audit Implementation Committee comprising City departments and community members working together to close the gaps identified in the report. The Committee worked for 2 years to address the 5 systemic gaps, and released its final report, "Courage to Change," in May 2010.



* Innovative Training Practices
The Department received a grant from Blue Shield of California Foundation to create and implement the Domestic Violence Response Cross-Training Institute, an innovative training of 5 criminal justice departments. The Institute won a 2009 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.



* Language Access to Services

The Safety Audit found that domestic violence victims with limited English proficiency were not being served adequately. The Department partnered with the Office of Language Services to address this gap with the Mobile Language Interpretation Project. Read the Press Release - October 30, 2007.

* Bridges to Freedom Language Fluency Project: With funding from the Zellerbach Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and in partnership with the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs, the Department implemented the Bridges to Freedom pilot project to improve the language fluency of City responders to domestic violence during the spring of 2010.