NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- There is a sexual assault epidemic in America. Every 98 seconds, a person inthe U.S. is sexually assaulted. One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. Rape is the most under-reported crime in the U.S. with 63% of sexual assaults never reported to the police. With only 7 out of 1,000 sexual assault cases brought to criminal trial, and with the high cost of civil court resolution, holding perpetrators accountable remains out of reach for most survivors. These statistics -- compiled from various reports and studies issued by the Department of Justice -- are startling. It's time to remove the financial barriers to those survivors seeking justice by offering free legal services in a holistic model with Survivors Justice Center (SJC).
Survivors Justice Center is a newly-formed, non-profit organization, founded by attorney Elic Anbar, providing free legal services and social services support to survivors of sexual assault. After years of practicing law in the criminal and civil courts, Mr. Anbar followed his passion and founded SJC with a mission of helping those survivors of sexual violence who were falling through the cracks of the justice system. SJC uses the process of the civil courts to hold perpetrators accountable, while creating a safe nurturing environment, providing free legal services and working collaboratively with other not-for-profit organizations to meet the individual needs of clients, such as counseling, shelter and social services support. Together with its clients, SJC determines the best legal path, whether it is going to civil trial, participating in mediation, or using a restorative justice model.
"The assignment of accountability is critical in the healing process and is being denied to thousands of sexual assault survivors each year," says Mr. Anbar. "The primary goal of SJC is to fill the justice gap and eliminate the financial barriers to legal justice. Because money should never be an obstacle to justice, our legal services are offered free of charge."
Through its client-centered model that takes into consideration each victim's individual needs, SJC explores the resources available and decides on the next steps. Those steps may include getting clients the non-legal services they need, such as counseling or shelter. It may also mean waiting to start a civil suit until the survivor is emotionally ready or initiating a legal case immediately.
"Although crime has been on the decline in cities across the U.S., the latest FBI report states that there is a 20% increase in the reporting of rape and sexual assault, placing it at an unprecedented high level," concludes Mr. Anbar. "There needs to be an end to sexual violence. By making perpetrators accountable for their crimes presents the means to that end for victims."
Donations are being sought to open the first SJC center in New York City in early 2019. Visit www.survivorsjusticecenter.org.
View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survivors-justice-center-founded-to-fill-the-justice-gap-with-free-legal-services-to-survivors-of-sexual-assault-300732577.html
SOURCE Survivors Justice Center
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