Churchill serves Gender and Justice

Island County Superior Court Judge Vickie Churchill has been appointed to serve on the Washington State Supreme Court’s Gender and Justice Commission. The appointment was made by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Madsen.

The Gender and Justice Commission is charged with promoting gender fairness, diversity and equality in courts and communities throughout Washington. In particular, the commission has assisted communities with summits focusing on domestic violence and Native American communities, immigrant populations and the elderly.

Other programs supported by the commission include bench guides on domestic violence and on international child abduction, scholarships to Women Lawyers’ Leadership Symposiums, and education programs on legal issues in genetics that impact women and vulnerable populations. Over the years, the commission has distributed thousands of dollars in STOP grants to courts for projects addressing domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

STOP grants (Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors) are funded through the Federal Violence Against Women Act and administered by the Gender and Justice Commission under the auspices of the Board for Judicial Administration.

The Gender and Justice Commission was formed in 1987 by the Washington State Legislature to initiate measures to prevent gender and minority bias in the state court system. Since then, the commission has developed projects to study female youth offender incarceration, sexual assault and workplace sexual harassment, gender and diversity bias, and responses to the crime of human trafficking. The commission encourages minority youth to consider careers as judges and lawyers and promotes ways to reduce conflict in divorce cases.

The commission includes representatives from the supreme court, court of appeals, superior court, district court, Washington State Bar Association, clerks, court administrators, tribal courts, Seattle University School of Law, and lay members.

Churchill also serves as co-chair of the Board for Judicial Administration, along with chair Chief Justice Gerry Alexander. She is current past president of the Superior Court Judges’ Association for the State of Washington.

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