"The VRLC creates that world for so many survivors every day. For me, the VRLC has changed, saved, and transformed my life, and has allowed me to imagine and create a world for hundreds of other survivors where they are given the chance to express themselves without judgment, and to heal." -2014 Susan Estrich Courage Award Recipient
The Victim Rights Law Center: The Only Hope for Many Victims
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. 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 and Oregon 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 nationwide, helping an exponential number of victims. Annually, VRLC staff trains thousands of professionals and victim advocates around the country.