For 50 years, Legal Momentum has led innovative legal and policy solutions to address gender-based violence.
We know that gender-based violence takes many forms and that victims and survivors suffer consequences in many facets of their lives. Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking are subjected to physical, economic, as well as short- and long-term psychological harms.
We aim to advance laws and policies that promote victim safety and offender accountability. Our work focuses on ensuring that the systems in place to address gender-based violence are trauma-informed and free of biases and misconceptions about the realities of the perpetration of, and harms caused by, gender-based violence.
With five decades of experience, Legal Momentum is alert to emerging forms of gender-based violence and gaps in the laws and policies addressing them. Over the past several years, we have focused on creating greater awareness of the use of technology to perpetrate gender-based violence and lead efforts to ensure the law keeps up.
Legal Impact Strategies
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
We were instrumental in drafting and passing the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994 and continue to take a leadership role in its periodic reauthorizations. With each reauthorization, we expand our understanding of survivors’ needs and seek to provide expanded protections and services for all victims of gender-based violence. We remain at the forefront of advocacy efforts to ensure that VAWA continues to be reauthorized in a manner that reflects the true needs of survivors and their advocates.
Victims of gender-based violence suffer discrimination and encounter many different legal issues. For some, the legal system is foreclosed due to the threat to their safety if their name were to appear in a publicly-accessible case title. We bring cases that break down barriers to survivors’ ability to work safely and obtain economic independence, that assert their right to utilize the justice system in a way that maintains their safety and supports their recovery from harms caused, and to challenge practices that subject them to discrimination because of the abuse to which they have been subjected.
In addition to our decades of work on the Violence Against Women Act and its reauthorizations, we advance legislative solutions at the national, state, and local levels to close gaps in the law that undermine victim safety and offender accountability. We draft and support legislation that strengthens protections for gender-based violence survivors confronting discrimination in areas such as employment and housing and promotes opportunities for victims to live in stability, free from violence.
We seek to advance public and professional education about violence against women through several of our programs.
- The National Judicial Education Program (NJEP) seeks to educate judges and court system professionals about the realities of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and intimate partner sexual abuse in order to promote the fair adjudication of these cases.
- Our Rights Now! program empowers youth to educate their peers on their rights, including rights related to Title IX, sextortion, and dating violence.
- Our Women Valued Initiative informs women of their legal rights in the workplace, including the rights of victims of violence.