Help the Amara Legal Center provide 100 clients with full and partial representation

Join Amara in making a difference in the lives of survivors of sex trafficking, please make a donation today!

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This holiday season, you can make a difference in the lives of so many survivors of sex trafficking whose desperate cries for help often go unheard. Participate in the Amara Legal Center’s "Circle of Hope" Fundraising Campaign to support our commitment to community, equity and justice. Let survivors know they are not alone. Make a donation to the Amara Legal Center today!

The "Circle of Hope" campaign represents Amara's diverse community, our holistic and culturally-sensitive approach to helping survivors fight for justice, and our training and advocacy efforts to increase awareness and push for equity. We invite you to become a "Circle of Hope" donor! Please check out our 2021 Annual Report.

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WHY IS OUR WORK IMPORTANT?

The judicial system in the United States is slow to respond, and, without a coordinated community-based response to sex trafficking, many survivors are often re-victimized and criminalized. As a result, survivors are often relegated to the shadows of society. Survivors suffer severe abuse and trauma at the hands of their traffickers, and getting out of the “life” can be terrifying, and a cycle of abuse is perpetuated.

The Amara Legal Center works to break this cycle. Amara is the only legal aid organization in the DC-metro region solely dedicated to providing trauma-informed legal services to survivors of sex trafficking and those who have been harmed by the commercial sex industry. Since its founding in 2013, Amara has provided legal services in almost 800 case matters for over 500 clients.

We look at our work through a racial and social justice lens, applying a holistic approach to helping clients navigate the legal system. The majority of Amara’s clients are U.S. born, Black, cis- and trans- women, ages 18-29, survivors of sex trafficking, who experience homelessness, mental health issues, severe trauma, and living below the federal poverty guideline.

Our clients are primarily adults and youth from Wards 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in DC; Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland; and Northern Virginia who are vulnerable to trafficking. Vulnerability factors include:

  • Racism
  • Poverty
  • Homelessness
  • Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community
  • Being a member of a racial or ethnic minority, developmentally or physically disabled, or undocumented
  • Involvement in the juvenile and criminal legal systems
  • Unequal school discipline policies
  • Involvement in the child welfare system
  • History of physical sexual abuse

LEGAL SERVICES: Amara provides brief legal advice/information and full representation.

FAMILY LAW: Divorce, custody and support; civil protection orders; and name change petitions. Because traffickers are often family members, civil legal services are critical to helping victims escape their traffickers and abusers, restoring relationships with their children through visitation/reunification, and accessing safety planning resources. Civil protection orders offer clients a modicum of safety from their trafficker, former sex buyer, or a violent partner. Name change petitions can be central to successful safety planning, providing our transgender clients with name and gender marker changes that legally conform with their identity.

CRIMINAL LEGAL SERVICES: Victim-witness advocacy and criminal defense for victim-defendants. Victim-witness advocacy services ensure clients understand their rights and engage in the legal system as much as they want and are prepared when they are subpoenaed to testify. Amara attorneys also help clients file charges against exploiters who stalk them, post nude photos, or commit other crimes against them.

POST-CONVICTION RELIEF: For survivors with criminal records related to their exploitation, we offer post-conviction record-sealing, expungement and vacatur services, improving their access to housing, employment and education.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Help us amplify the voices of survivors, elevate the discussion, and break the injustice faced by survivors by becoming a "Circle of Hope" donor. Your contribution will help Amara provide 100 survivors with free legal services and give them hope as they move forward in their journeys towards healing!

Sign-up to receive our newsletter and follow us on our social media platforms. Don't forget to share information about Amara with your network! Together, we can change lives!


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