News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
March 21, 2017

Texas Legal Hotline Now Available for Survivors of Sexual Assault
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

AUSTIN, TX – As the nation recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, survivors of sexual assault in Texas now have access to a vital network of free legal services through the Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault (LASSA) statewide hotline [1-844-303-7233 (SAFE)]. Funded by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, the LASSA hotline connects survivors with attorneys who can assist them with a variety of legal issues, including protecting their safety and privacy, housing, and family law needs.  

“As survivors of sexual assault begin to rebuild their lives, legal issues may arise that affect their safety and well-being,” Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, the Court’s liaison for access to justice issues, said. “Help is a confidential phone call away for Texans who qualify for legal aid.” 

The LASSA hotline is a collaborative effort of nine legal aid organizations partnering with domestic violence and rape crisis centers throughout the state for community outreach, education, and referrals. Operators are available to answer calls Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

According to a study by the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, two in five women and one in five men in Texas have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime. Only 9.2% of victims report their experience to law enforcement.

The LASSA Network provides survivors of sexual assault with a wide range of free legal services from general advice to holistic, direct representation in civil legal matters stemming from sexual assault. Survivors can face many legal issues including protecting their personal information, finding a new and safe place to live, protecting their families, feeling secure at school or work, and applying for public benefits.

The initiative was made possible through $10 million in funding from the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature for the 2015-2017 biennium. The funds are distributed by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation to grantees across the state.

For more information, please call 1-844-303-7233 (SAFE) or visit http://www.teajf.org/grants/LASSA.aspx.

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The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (www.teajf.org), created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the leading state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to more than  100,000 Texas families each year.

 

Contact: Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104
kschmitt@teajf.org

 

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