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Legal Momentum advocates for employment policies that protect the rights of victims of violence and prevent them from losing their jobs.We train employers and unions, draft and promote new legislation, track legislative developments nationwide, and bring cases to expand and enforce the employment rights of victims.
Legal Momentum’s primary goal is to strengthen and expand the employment rights and economic security of victims of gender-based violence on a national scale.
We seek to help to help women victimized by domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking keep their jobs and safe housing while breaking free from violent relationships or recovering from the trauma of assault.
To achieve these goals, Legal Momentum combines public education, advocacy, and targeted litigation.
Our work addresses the following issues: Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are widespread in the United States, affecting individuals of virtually every racial, ethnic, gender, age and socioeconomic group.
One in three women in the United States are or will be victims of domestic violence.
Such violence is known to increase in times of recession and greater unemployment, just when individual women, families, and other support structures – such as community shelters and government assistance programs – have fewer resources.
Studies indicate that one of the best predictors of whether a victim will stay away from his or her abuser is the victim’s degree of economic independence.
However, violence often jeopardizes victims’ ability to keep a job, whether because of the need for time off for court appearances or medical attention, or abusers’ active interference or sabotage, i.e.
preventing victims from going to work, harassment at work, limiting access to cash and transportation, and manipulating child-care arrangements.
Accordingly, female victims are more likely than other women to be unemployed, to suffer from health problems that can affect employability and job performance, to report lower personal income, and to rely on welfare.
Employers can play a vital role in supporting a woman as she or he seeks to break away from a violent situation or recover from an assault.
Legal Momentum has resources available for companies and organizations that outline best practices and policies for supporting employee victims of violence (PDF).