BWJP expresses their deep gratitude to Ms. Frederick for her 26 years of work with BWJP to improve the legal system’s response to domestic violence

Minneapolis, MN Release: September 1, 2021 For Immediate Release 

BWJP today recognizes Loretta M. Frederick, JD, the organizations Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, in her retirement effective September 2nd, 2021.  

Since 2010, Ms. Frederick has focused her work on improving the family court  system’s handling of child custody cases involving domestic abuse. She co-developed with Gabrielle Davis the widely recognized SAFeR approach to that work. SAFeR is a comprehensive and groundbreaking approach to child custody decision-making. The approach is implemented through the use of materials which she lead in developing, including screening and interview guides, worksheets, and other tools useful to all practitioners - advocates, attorneys, custody evaluators, guardian's ad litem, mediators, and judges. In recognition of this ground-breaking work, SAFeR was honored by the Mary Byron Project with the Celebrating Solutions Award in 2018. 

Since 1978 when Loretta began her work as an attorney representing victims of domestic violence for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and co-founded the Women’s Resource Center of Winona, she has worked to improve the legal system’s response to domestic violence. Her efforts have involved legal consultation, training and assistance with litigation and policy development on domestic violence issues in the U.S. and internationally. She founded and directed the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project (now “Standpoint”) which provides such help to Minnesota advocates and legal system professionals. She served on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Gender Fairness Implementation Committee and on the faculties of Minnesota's Judicial College and its Family Law for the Judiciary educational programs. She serves on the faculty for the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence and has designed curricula for and given presentations at hundreds of educational sessions worldwide for prosecutors, judges, attorneys, advocates, guardians ad litem, custody evaluators, law enforcement officers, and police administrators. 

Ms. Frederick assisted in drafting the Model State Code on Domestic and Family Violence in conjunction with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). Loretta was a participant in policy development efforts at the nation’s first conference (sponsored by the National Resource Center on Child Custody and Child Protection of NCJFCJ) of child welfare professionals and domestic violence advocates. She served for three years as a consultant for the U.S. Marine Corps on the development of its coordinated community response to domestic violence. In 2009 Loretta helped guide the seminal Wingspread conference on child custody in domestic violence cases which was co-sponsored by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the NCJFJC.  

Loretta’s work has included assisting governments and non-governmental organizations to improve their legal system’s handling of domestic violence cases in many regions around the world including Central Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, Nepal and the Balkans. She was a participant and trainer at the NGO conference at the U.N. Conference on Women, Beijing, China in 1995. In 2011, Loretta went to China to serve as faculty for an institute on Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases and taught Judicial Faculty Development, both sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative in China. 

Loretta has had an unwavering passion and focus on improving legal systems’ responses to survivors of domestic violence, and the impact of her work is felt all over the world.” said her colleague, Kristine Lizdas. 

We are truly grateful for Loretta’s significant contributions to the field on behalf of survivors and their children. We wish her some well-deserved rest and new adventures in the next chapter of her life!  The BWJP Team