Legal Momentum Blog

Legal Momentum Blog

Welcome to Legal Momentum's Blog. We write about stories and issues that relate to our mission. Our Intern Team also posts about issues important to them, offering discussion and insight regarding women's equality and opportunity.
  • Legal Momentum remembers with admiration and respect Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, who died of cancer on Sunday, October 9, at age 50. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

  • On Monday September 26, 27-year-old Kelvin Acosta of the Bronx pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child. Acosta used the internet to prey on young girls—one as young as 13. Acosta first made contact with his victims using Facebook, where he tricked them into revealing personal information. Using that information, he hacked his victims’ email accounts and told them he had their sex videos or nude photographs. He then told his teen victims that unless they created pornography for him or gave him money, he would send the images to their families, friends, and schools.

  • Legal Momentum Board member Loria Yeadon moderated an event with Legal Momentum in Palo Alto, California—in the heart of Silicon Valley—on July 21 to raise awareness of online sex trafficking of minors today and address ways to end this growing problem.


  • According to the Guttmacher Institute, it’s estimated that from 1950 to 1960, the number of illegal abortions was between 200,000 and 1.2 million in the United States. The culture promoting marriage and family values stigmatized single mothers; many families ostracized them. The desperation of some pregnant women led them to the doors of motel rooms, where they would risk their lives to get an abortion.

  • In what, to some, might at first glance seem like an unremarkable decision, on Monday, the Supreme Court demonstrated a deep understanding of how domestic violence is perpetrated. On its face, the Court’s decision in Voisine v. United States was a sterile, hyper-technical legal analysis primarily hinging on the meaning of the word “use,” where the Court refrained from discussing domestic violence at any length.

  • Judges demand sex in exchange for visas or favorable custody decisions, landlords threaten to evict tenants unless they have sex with them, supervisors condition job security on sex, and principals condition student graduation on sex. These are only a few faces of “sextortion.” Throughout the world, those in power extort vulnerable women and girls by demanding sex, rather than money. Victims have no choice but to comply. Noncompliance leads to life-altering and irreversible harm, such as losing one’s children, deportation, homelessness, incarceration, or unemployment.

  • We are committed to ensuring that all girls are free from gender violence and sexual assault, and to eliminating injustice in our justice system.

    Legal Momentum is helping to lead the national discussion on the culture of complacency surrounding rape and campus sexual assault. Lynn Hecht Schafran, who directs Legal Momentum’s National Judicial Education Program, spoke on NPR’s “The Takeaway” on June 7 about the slap-on-the-wrist sentence given to the Stanford University athlete and rapist Brock Turner.

  • Today is the second annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Across the nation, people are wearing orange to honor the millions of lives affected by gun violence and spur action to prevent gun violence nationwide. The Wear Orange campaign is spearheaded by Everytown for Gun Safety. It was inspired by a small group of teens at a South Side Chicago high school who wore orange—the color that hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others—to honor the life of a classmate killed by gun violence in 2013.

  • Legal Momentum applauds the appointment of Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura as the first woman secretary general of FIFA, the governing body of world soccer. FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced her appointment by the FIFA Council on May 13, 2016. Ms. Samoura, who is Senegalese, is the first woman and first African to hold this post.

  • We are deeply saddened by the passing on May 17 of Ralph Knowles, our friend and board member from 1995–2014, and honorary board member since 2014. At various times during his board tenure he served as Vice Chair, Vice Chair and General Counsel, and First Vice Chair. He was particularly active in referring Legal Momentum clients to lawyers in Georgia and in support of Legal Momentum’s Family Initiative Program. Ralph also served on the national Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union and its state affiliates in Georgia and Alabama, the chapter he helped found.


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