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. As Lynn said, Judge Aaron Persky’s sentence epitomizes the sexism, racism, and privilege that continue to permeate the judicial proceedings in many rape cases. Too often, according to Lynn, “The fiction is that the defendant is on trial; in point of fact it’s the victim who’s on trial.” You can listen to the full show segment here.
Ending the Culture of Complacency
Legal Momentum and its renowned National Judicial Education Program pioneered judicial education to eliminate sexism and inequality from the courts with resources such as training curricula for judges on the realities of sexual violence. And Legal Momentum continues to be one of the few organizations that represents students who have been raped on campuses all over the country. Those students often don’t get a fair shake from either their schools or law enforcement. While rapists pro-actively “lawyer up” to minimize disruption to their educations and careers, most rape victims do not have the resources to do the same. They are too traumatized by the sexual assault. And many have to deal with not being believed when they report their rapes.
Legal Momentum continues to mobilize the public about ending the culture of complacency surrounding rape and campus sexual assault, and how the judiciary and our legal system need to be responsive to victim’s rights.
- It’s Time to Finally Tackle Abuse on College Campuses (Huffington Post)
- The Hunting Ground Screening Galvanizes Audience (Huffington Post)
- Surviving Campus Sexual Assault: An Overview of Your Rights as a Student
- Consent Is Everyone’s Issue (Legal Momentum blog)
- How New York Will Lead the Country in Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses (Legal Momentum blog)
- Can We Get a Criminal Conviction for Campus Rape If We Don’t Have Video? (Legal Momentum blog)
- Legal Momentum’s Department of Education Complainant Featured in New York Times Op-Doc “Brown's 'Rape List,' Revisited”
Other Legal Momentum subject matter experts on campus sexual assault include:
- Carol Robles-Román, President and CEO of Legal Momentum and former Deputy Mayor and Counsel to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg;
- Penny Venetis, Executive Vice President and Legal Director, Professor of Law and director of the Human Rights Clinic at Rutgers Law School;
- Jennifer Becker, Senior Staff Attorney and former Title IX Coordinator for the New York City Department of Education and sex crimes prosecutor;
- Caitlin McCartney, Gender Justice Fellow, who was previously Civil Rights Fellow at the New York State Office of the Attorney General.
Join our movement to ensure that all girls and women are safe from rape and sexual assault, and that the justice system is responsive to sexual assault victims.