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The mission of the Victim Rights Law Center is to provide legal representation to victims of rape and sexual assault to help rebuild their lives and to promote a national movement committed to seeking justice for every rape and sexual assault victim.
An act of sexual violence can devastate and derail a victim's life. The impact is long-lasting--months, years, even a lifetime. Imagine all the necessities of your life--housing, employment, education, privacy, safety, and, in some cases, citizenship--put in jeopardy because you were attacked, forever altering your future. While counselors, nurses, and the criminal justice system can provide invaluable support, they cannot restore some of life's most basic needs.
In response, the Victim Rights Law Center ( VRLC) was established in 2003 as the first nonprofit law center in the nation solely dedicated to serving the needs of rape and sexual assault victims. Through direct legal services, our staff and pro bono attorneys help restore victims' lives after an attack, ensuring that they may stay in school; protecting their privileged and confidential mental health, medical and education records; preserving their employment; maintaining safe housing; securing or maintaining their immigration status; and swiftly accessing victim compensation and other benefits.Leading Nationally, Serving Locally
What we learn from serving our clients in Massachusetts is used to train legal professionals across the United States and U.S. Territories. Our unique and successful model for legal intervention in rape and sexual assault cases has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women ( OVW); we serve as the OVW’s primary trainer and technical assistance provider on these matters so that these services may be replicated nationally, helping an exponential amount of victims. In 2009, VRLC staff trained more than 2,000 professionals and victim advocates nationally.
Rape can devastate a life and trigger a downward spiral, threatening a victim's privacy, path toward an education, physical security and so many other areas. Counselors, nurses, and the criminal justice system alone cannot address the myriad of often simultaneous issues resulting from the assault that keep a victim from getting back on track. Immediate, short-term legal interventions are a critical piece in the healing process and can have lasting, long-term effects.
The Victim Rights Law Center is the first, and still one of few, such organizations in the nation, we use what we learn from serving clients here in Massachusetts to teach and train others across the nation, in-turn helping even more individuals through our local, direct legal services model.
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