July 31, 2014
Tulane Law Professor Tania Tetlow, wearing translation headphones, discussed domestic violence issues during a panel at the U.S.-China People-to-People Exchange in July.
Law Professor Tania Tetlow (front row, fourth from left) joined other members of the U.S. delegation to the U.S.-China People-to-People Exchange.
Tulane Law Professor Tania Tetlow, whose expertise on legal issues surrounding domestic violence is increasingly sought internationally, joined a distinguished U.S. delegation to the U.S.-China People-to-People Exchange in July.
The exchange, launched in 2010 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong, promotes discussion and collaboration on a variety of topics not typically covered in formal government summits. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel led this year’s event, which was hosted in Beijing and included government and NGO representatives, business leaders, academics and media members.
Tetlow addressed issues of violence against women as part of a delegation led by Tina Tchen, executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls and chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama; Lynn Rosenthal, White House advisor on violence against women; and Stephenie Foster, senior advisor, State Department Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. The group conducted talks with the All-China Women’s Federation, an organization with 78,000 staff working in every corner of China to improve the lives of women and girls. The team also visited a women’s hospital, a women’s university and a juvenile and family law court.
Tetlow offered an overview of U.S. laws on domestic violence, from specific criminal prohibitions to the availability of divorce and civil protective orders. In the last 30 years, U.S. law has come a long way, though much work remains to improve its enforcement, she said. Meanwhile, China is considering a major reform of its laws governing violence against women and has established pilot projects to use civil protective orders. Tetlow offered lessons learned from the American experience about the need to narrow the discretion available to officials, such as police or prosecutors, who too often show hostility toward domestic violence survivors.
Tetlow, director of Tulane Law School’s Domestic Violence Clinic, is a former federal prosecutor who frequently is called on to share her perspective on the legal system, clinical education and methods of combating domestic violence. She also has added an important dimension to Tulane’s already distinctive global engagement, providing technical assistance with family law clinics in Nanjing, China, Kigali, Rwanda, and Tehran, Iran.
The U.S.-China People-To-People Exchange initially focused on four pillars: Culture, Education, Science & Technology and Sports. A Women’s pillar was added in 2011, led by the first-ever U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer. In just a few years, the CPE has advanced bilateral relations and encouraged public-private partnerships to advance social good.