What We Do
As the only statewide legal aid organization focused on advocating for survivors, Sexual Violence Law Center recognizes how prevalent gender-based violence is in our communities and institutions, and just how devastating the impact it has on survivors and their loved ones.
That is why our work not only focuses on justice for survivors and holding perpetrators accountable but also on improving the law, educating the public and professionals, and identifying new methods and areas of advocacy.
Legal assistance and representation is our core service, recognizing survivors often face roadblocks to safety in housing, employment, campuses, emergency rooms—even in courtrooms. Through our litigation, Sexual Violence Law Center aim to breakdown barriers, assert the rights of our clients, and challenge systems and institutions to hold the perpetrator accountable for the harm and abuse they caused. In providing holistic legal services, we assist survivors in a wide variety of legal matters.
In addition to our litigation, we advance policy reform through supporting survivor-centered legislation, amicus briefing in impact cases and technical assistance to providers and professionals who are serving survivors of sexual violence. Our advocacy center race equity and seek to eliminate barriers to victim safety and access to justice and strengthen protections that promote privacy, stability and justice. Some advocacy efforts we have engaged in:
Sexual Violence Law Center is regularly invited to present on a wide range of topics related to sexual violence. We have presented to attorneys, advocates, law enforcement, survivors, judicial officers and many others as well, at the local, state and national level. Below are some of the topics on which our attorneys are frequently invited to speak:
- Understanding Sexual Violence and Surviving
- Overview of Washington Protection Orders
- Privacy Rights of Crime Victims in Washington
- Representing Minor Victims of Sexual Violence
- Presenting Sexual Abuse in Child Custody Cases
- Trauma-Informed Advocacy
- Advocating for High Needs Clients
- Secondary Trauma in the Workplace
- Identifying & Responding to Abusive Litigation
- Domestic Violence & Financial Abuse
- Immigrant Survivors: Intersection of Civil, Criminal & Immigration
- Holistic Legal Representation of Survivors
- Rape Myths & the Criminal Justice
- Victim-Centered Investigation & Reporting
Sexual Violence Law Center also customizes workshops for specific events and organizations. We also participate in panel and roundtable discussions. Please contact us for information on arranging a presentation, workshop, panel, or webinar for your organization or community.
Sexual Violence Law Center houses special initiatives that are consistent with our interest in improving and strengthening the community, criminal and court responses to sexual violence. These initiatives are intended to generate new research and resources with an emphasis on long term reform. See below for further information on each special initiative.
Technology Enabled Coercive Control Initiatives
As digital technologies have become more central to our daily lives, they have become a platform for psychological abuse and enabled real-world manipulation. Whether the abuse takes place online or is simply enabled by emerging technologies, it can have devastating impacts on people’s lives. We have named this “technology-enabled coercive control” to emphasize that the threat we are facing is as old as interpersonal conflict and as rapidly changing as the technologies themselves. SVLC’s Technology Enabled Coercive Control Initiatives (TECCI) aims to:
- Increase understanding of TECC across sectors, including in law enforcement and the technology industry.
- Stimulate the creation and/or adoption of technology tools that help people safely exit abusive situations.
- Advance research that sheds light on survivor experiences and potential avenues of support.
- Develop recommendations for companies, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system to adapt to this rapidly changing threat.
- Encourage the development of support systems for victims of technology-enabled coercive control and the institutions that support them.