April marks the observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence, supporting survivors, and promoting prevention efforts. Sexual assault remains a prevalent and deeply concerning issue, affecting individuals of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. Survivors of sexual violence often face a myriad of challenges, including navigating complex legal systems, accessing essential support services, and confronting the stigma and trauma associated with their experiences. In the aftermath of an assault, many survivors may be unsure of their rights or hesitant to seek legal assistance due to financial constraints or fear of retribution.

With the help of the Comprehensive Legal Assistance for Survivors Project (CLASP) Grant, Legal Aid Chicago advocates play a critical role in our ability to address legal barriers and ensuring that survivors receive the support and advocacy they need. Through a network of community partnerships and volunteers, we offer free comprehensive civil (non-criminal) legal services to survivors of sexual violence, including help with accessing remedies related to personal safety, immigration, housing, employment, public benefits, personal finances, and education.

By eliminating the barriers to legal assistance, our trauma-informed advocates and attorneys ensure that all survivors have equal access to quality legal representation and support. Together, with our Gender Based Violence partner agencies, such as Resilience, we empower survivors to assert their rights, seek justice, and rebuild their lives on their own terms.

As we recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it is essential to stand together in solidarity with survivors, amplify their voices, and support the critical work advocates. By working together to create a society that prioritizes consent, respect, and accountability, we can build a future where every individual is empowered to live free from the threat of sexual violence.