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.
  • 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.

  • Legal Momentum is in the vanguard, spurring national change to end enterprises that facilitate exploitation of at-risk women and girls. On Thursday, Legal Momentum published an op-ed in the Seattle Times calling for the federal government to take strong action against and other websites that facilitate online exploitation of vulnerable girls and women.

  • Justice Marie Garibaldi, the first woman appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court, passed away on January 15 at age 81. Legal Momentum salutes this trailblazer for women’s equality.

  • Legal Momentum remembers with admiration, respect, and love Judge Judith S. Kaye, the first woman to serve on New York State’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals, and the first woman to serve as that court’s Chief Judge. She died of cancer on January 6, 2016, at age 77.

  • Legal Momentum is relieved and encouraged by yesterday’s guilty verdict in the trial of Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma City police officer who abused his authority to sexually coerce and assault 13 Black women, one of them only a teen.

    The fact that this serial abuse by a uniformed officer occurred demonstrates the urgent need to continue working with law enforcement on needed reforms. As one of the victims testified, “What kind of police do you call on the police?”