Since I founded Victim Rights Center of Connecticut in 2013, we have proven that many crime victims need the kind of legal help that we provide. We continually work to expand our network of providers to enable us to reach all communities. We have successfully connected to dozens of agencies working with victims, and referrals grow every day. We were fortunate to receive a major grant from Office of Violence Against Women to support the work of two attorneys. We have formal agreements with several organizations, including an exciting partnership with Family Justice Center in Bridgeport, bringing our holistic legal services to Fairfield County. As we grow, the need for support staff -- an Executive Director and Development professional -- becomes more crucial to our survival. Those positions will allow our lawyers to focus their efforts on direct services that protect victims’ rights, interact with police and prosecutors, advocate for safety and assist with employment, education and housing.
VRCCT can meet this need only with broad-based help from generous donors in the community – whether individuals, corporations, or public entities. We are a very frugal organization, with donated offices and salaries for our attorneys that are well below the norm for the profession. But we cannot work without funds, and we have chosen to provide our services at no cost to under-served and economically disadvantaged populations.
I have been dedicated to helping victims since I co-founded a temporary restraining order clinic for battered women in 1979 when I was a law student. I remained energized during my 27 years as a prosecutor by in large part because I could be a voice for victims in the criminal courts.
My cases as a prosecutor, however, were the ones where things went right: the police or other government agencies believed a crime had occurred, investigated, and an arrest was made. At Victim Rights Center I have been humbled and upset by the many cases where institutions created to protect victims have not done so. We battle every day to try to correct these systemic errors by advocating for survivors with the police, child protective services, and the courts. It is important to note that the dedicated professionals in these organizations care about the public and work hard to protect them. But there is not enough training available about the effects of trauma on victim behavior and the proper way to do a victim-informed investigation. VRCCT works daily to fill that training and education gap, but there is a long way to go.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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