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Legal Momentum

Our mission is to ensure economic and personal security for all women and girls by advancing equity in education, the workplace, and the courts. We provide an expert legal voice to seek justice for women in law and government policy.

Overview of Legal Momentum's mission and programs

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Legal Momentum is a national nonprofit organization that leads action for the legal rights of women. Our targeted litigation, education, policy advocacy, and research help to shape the laws and policies that affect gender equality and ensure that they are properly implemented and enforced. Successful initiatives include judicial education programs on the realities of sexual assault and domestic violence; successful advocacy for the Violence Against Women Act; and representing women who have been subjected to workplace discrimination with precedent-setting litigation.

Protecting Workplace Rights of Vulnerable Populations

Legal Momentum works to strengthen and promote women’s opportunities for workplace equity and economic security.

We help to expand and enforce laws and policies that end sex and pregnancy discrimination for working women and eliminate workplace barriers for women, especially those in non-traditional jobs such as the uniformed services.

Legal Momentum also works together with public and private employers on workplace and domestic violence issues, so that they can provide needed accommodations for survivors and deal effectively with perpetrators. When women are economically secure, they can make the best choices about a safe future for themselves and their families.

Expanding Rights, Justice, and Services for Victims of Violence

On the heels of our legacy achievement—leading the fight to pass the Violence Against Women Act—Legal Momentum trains legal professionals and advocates nationwide on the rights, protections, and services available to victims and survivors of violence. We have also litigated several cases helping to establish and enforce workplace rights for victims of violence.

Ending Commercial Exploitation of Women and Girls

The internet has made commercial sexual exploitation of at-risk girls and women easier than ever and is enabling online facilitators of child rape to act with impunity. Legal Momentum is:

  • Working to reform state and federal legislation to rein in trafficking;
  • Assisting municipalities, judges, lawyers, and advocates with legal issues related to trafficking;
  • Building coalitions of organizations, including survivor-led organizations, to spark innovative methods for fighting human trafficking;
  • Bringing innovative lawsuits to fight trafficking.

The Legal Momentum Helpline

Legal Momentum’s Helpline provides direct services and technical assistance to women who have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, or violence. Every year, Legal Momentum’s Helpline responds to hundreds of telephone calls and emails across the country and from abroad. The most common referral requests are in the areas of campus sexual assault, domestic violence, child custody, and employment discrimination.

Ensuring Safety and Equity in Education

Legal Momentum is deeply involved in requiring schools (K-graduate school) to prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking, and to respond effectively to survivors of violence. We work to ensure that schools keep students safe from sexual assault by implementing effective, victim-centered policies that comply with Title IX and the Clery Act. We also educate parents and students about their Title IX rights.

Ending Gender Bias in the Courts

Legal Momentum’s award-winning National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (NJEP) is the national source for judicial education on sexual violence. NJEP educates judges, attorneys, and justice system professionals about the ways in which gender bias can undermine fairness in criminal, civil, family, and juvenile law. NJEP focuses primarily on sexual assault cases and cases involving the intersection of sexual assault and domestic violence. NJEP creates resources and provides training on these issues to promote the fair adjudication of these cases.

Stopping Cyber-Sexual Abuse    

Women and girls are disproportionately impacted by cyber-sextortion. Predators exploit digitally savvy children and teenagers, often by pretending to be peers on social networking sites. Using false identities, offenders manipulate children and teenagers into giving them information or images that the victims would not want friends, family, or their school community to know about. Predators then use the threat of exposing these images to demand sex or more sexual images. The FBI reports that sextortion is the fastest-growing crime against children in the United States today. Most perpetrators have abused multiple—even hundreds—of victims.

Legal Momentum has partnered with public and private entities to reform states’ criminal statutes and to support pending federal legislation that will bring clarity and sanctions to perpetrators of online violence against children and adults. To raise awareness and educate the public, we started an online media campaign aimed at teens. We are also collaborating with the FBI to educate children and adults about sextortion. Legal Momentum’s report, “A Call to Action: Ending Sextortion in the Digital Age,” helps both adults and children stay safe on the Internet.