Theses Master's

Freedom From Domestic Violence as a Human Right: Evaluation of the use of the Due Diligence Standard within Local Contexts across the United States

Houchins, Kristina B.

Following the Inter-American Commission’s decision against the United States in the case Gonzales v. U.S. and the issuance of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women’s country report on the United States detailing systemic faults in the way the country treats victims of domestic violence, localities across the country sought to alter their own approach towards domestic violence by issuing local resolutions that proclaim freedom from domestic violence as a human right. As the due diligence standard has reached the standing of customary international law, these resolutions should detail specific means of abiding by the due diligence framework and fully encompass the core principles of the standard. Upon analysis, while the majority of the resolutions adequately address means of preventing incidences of domestic violence from occurring and ways localities are protecting victims, they do not consistently provide specific guidelines detailing local commitments for the standards of investigation and punishment for incidences of domestic violence, accountability mechanisms for perpetrators and state officials, or appropriate remedies for victims. In order to fully encompass the due diligence standard, localities could potentially look to utilize model language contained in the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on the Action Against Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence which clearly covers each of the core areas of the due diligence standard thoroughly.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Houchins, Kristina - Final Thesis.pdf Houchins, Kristina - Final Thesis.pdf application/pdf 760 KB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Martin, J. Paul
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
December 10, 2016