In January, we awarded a grant to the Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC) for a legal assistance network that connects survivors of crime to legal service providers who address all their legal needs in one place. This comprehensive resource is the Victim Legal Network. The network has a Bilingual Navigator who can perform one intake and refer cases to any of the network’s providers. (There are currently 23, each with different specialties.)
For survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking, this means greater ease in getting help. It means having to make fewer calls to get connected to services they need, and easier access to justice. For the legal aid community, it means better coordination of services and reduced client “bounce” (when a client gets repeatedly referred to different providers, and in many cases stops seeking services). It also serves the clients with immediate needs more efficiently.
The Victim Legal Network is one of a just a few wraparound legal assistance networks in the country. Organizations from Oregon, Arizona, Hawaii, and Ohio are discussing how to replicate their successes across the country, so that even more individuals can access the legal resources they deserve.