Clearing Records & Building Hope
Clearing Records & Building Hope is our core program and is the only program in Washington State that helps survivors to clear criminal records. Many survivors of sex trafficking are convicted of prostitution and other crimes while their trafficker remains free. Survivors of domestic violence are also often wrongfully charged with assault when they try to defend themselves from an attack by their abuser. Survivors get labeled as defendants, even though they were victims controlled by their abusers. Pro bono attorneys can help survivors clear criminal records so that survivors have access to housing, employment, and other resources that build hope for their future.
Victim Privacy Project
Legal Hope partners with Perkins Coie to run the Victim Privacy Project that protects the privacy and rights of domestic violence and sexual assault victims in King County. In many domestic violence and sexual assault criminal cases, victims suffer violations of privacy. Defense can request the release of a victim’s personal information, such as their medical records or the contents of their cell phone. Pro bono attorneys stop the release of victim information and protect victim privacy and rights in the criminal case, preventing survivors from further harm.
Virtual Help Program
Legal Hope runs the Virtual Help Program in partnership with Microsoft and Perkins Coie to protect the safety of domestic violence survivors and their children in King County. The COVID-19 stay-at-home order put many survivors of domestic violence in greater danger than ever before. Domestic violence deaths in King County quadrupled in 2020 over 2019. The physical closure of courthouses and the inaccessibility of legal assistance exacerbated the dangers to those at home with abusers. We created the Virtual Help Program with Microsoft and Perkins Coie to virtually connect survivors to pro bono attorneys and the courts so that survivors can obtain domestic violence protection orders. The Virtual Help Program breaks down barriers to access to counsel with this innovative virtual model of services and was recently awarded the WSBA Apex Award.