Anyone can become a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
Empowering victims during the judicial process helps end the cycle of domestic violence and sexual abuse. We help stop the cycle of abuse and empower victims by:
- Providing free legal assistance to ensure victims’ rights are enforced, which contributes to more offenders being held accountable and protects the community from future offenses
- Filing motions on behalf of victims to protect their privacy, assure their right to be present during the trial is enforced, stop delay tactics, and assure they are treated like human beings and not evidence.
- Creation of an on-line Crime Victim Rights Toolkit. The Federal component of the toolkit is available nationwide
- Delivering free training sessions to hospital personnel, victim advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, and the community to promote awareness of victim rights and ensure consistent application of laws
- Providing advocates to support crime victims during the trial process
The cycle of domestic violence and sexual assault will never end if victims are silenced during the judicial process and offenders are not held accountable!
One of our recent cases:
Imagine being kidnapped and raped by someone you work with. Now imagine the trial to hold the criminal accountable being delayed more than 20 times over 5.5 years, shuffled among half a dozen prosecutors, and even retirement of the police investigator. This is exactly what happened to LaTreese Miller, even though Ohio Supreme court rules call for cases to be tried within six months. As indicated in interviews with Rachel Dissell from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "It seems to me, now, that this is worse than the actual rape sometimes". Miller also indicated that “as the case dragged on she became depressed and that she also has trouble with employers after having to call off work numerous times for trial dates canceled at the last minute”.
Upon being notified of the case, Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center (formerly The Justice League of Ohio) staff attorney Elizabeth Well sprang into action and asked the judge to set a swift and certain trail date. When that did not work, she filed for a landmark Writ of Mandamus asking the appeals judges to order Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Maureen Sweeney to rule on Miller's request that a trial date be set and a trial be held as soon as possible. This final action by Ms. Well and the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center resulted in the perpetrator being tried, found guilty, and sentenced over the course of three months. In a follow-up story by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Miller said she was fortunate to have the Justice League by her side when nobody else would help her and she would now be able to move on.
To see the full stories: