An important initiative of the Bilkent University Faculty of Law is its Street Law Clinic (or, Legal Literacy Clinic), where law students can gain experience dealing with real-life legal issues that occur in society. During the 2020 spring semester, students volunteered to work on the issue of violence against women, and as a result were able to give a presentation to Bilkent freshmen as part of the university’s GE100 “Introduction to University Life” program this semester.
In the Street Law Clinic, the theoretical knowledge acquired by law students is applied to addressing specific conflicts that may arise from human interactions and relationships. In looking at the issue of violence against women last semester, students worked under the supervision of Prof. Ece Göztepe and Asst. Prof. Pınar Çağlayan Aksoy.
The students first identified the problem centers of violence against women in various legal fields and then scanned the legislation and jurisprudence regarding the legal problems they identified. Next, they contacted various institutions and organizations that they had identified as being involved in the resolution of those problems. Finally, they worked in groups to create a catalogue of problems and came up with ideas about the ways in which they could disseminate all of the information they had acquired.
The knowledge the legal clinic team had gained was put to work in raising awareness of the issue of violence against women. In their GE100 presentation, they demonstrated a fictional scenario that they had compiled from “violence”-oriented events they had experienced or heard about from others around them. In this way, they drew the attention of young people just starting university to the importance and reality of the matter.
The team also wished to contribute to raising awareness of the issue among a wider audience through printed media such as posters and brochures. To this end, they designed and prepared visuals, dialogues and posters that emphasize the importance of not normalizing violence. The posters can be found at: https://bit.ly/3oPGCpq