Tomkins honored for local and international efforts to promote peace and justice


Tomkins (left) director of the Women, Children and Social Justice Clinic with students outside Carolyn's House, a supported housing facility for homeless women and their children.

Published May 30, 2014

Suzanne E. Tomkins, clinical professor and director of the Women, Children & Social Justice Clinic, was honored for her exemplary service by the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence at their 36th Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon held on June 6.

The Women, Children and Social Justice Clinic, founded as the Family Violence Clinic in 1992, was honored with the Exemplary Service Award. For 21 years, the Clinic has been committed to preventing domestic violence and promoting the legal rights of victims of domestic abuse and intimate partner violence. The Clinic has worked on every level representing individual victims, working with judges, advocates, law enforcement, medical personnel and all those who respond to the crisis of intimate partner violence.  Law graduates who had the opportunity to participate in the clinic as students have gone on to work throughout the world on issues related to domestic violence.

Tomkins, who co-founded the clinic with Catherine Cerulli ’92, will be individually honored with the Sr. Karen Klimsczak SSJ Peace and Justice Award. Tomkins has spent much of her Law School career creating, implementing and evaluating multidisciplinary responses to violence between intimates. She has developed countywide protocols throughout the region and has helped create a similar response in Ukraine through Project Harmony, a program funded by the U.S. Department of State. Tomkins has also served as a faculty adviser to the Law School's Domestic Violence Task Force, a volunteer student group that promotes awareness of domestic violence through presentations and trainings, advocates in Family Court for targets of domestic violence, and offers a legal clinic for battered women in collaboration with Haven House, a local shelter, and the Volunteer Lawyers Project.

To attend the Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence’s 36 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon, please visit their website.