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LOTUS Legal Clinic supports crime victims

Everyone knows the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to legal representation if someone is accused of a crime, but fewer consider legal protections for victims of crime.

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Crime victims, especially those from historically underinvested communities such as immigrants, women, people of color and those in the LGBTQIA+ communities, often face formidable barriers to seeking justice.

Since 2016, the LOTUS Legal Clinic has been fighting for Wisconsin crime victims through no-cost legal services, therapeutic writing workshops and advocacy efforts to improve the systems that make marginalized communities disproportionately vulnerable to human trafficking and sexual violence. With the support from a $25,000 grant from the Community Vision Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, LOTUS ensures the unique needs of Fox Valley survivors of such crimes are met.

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LOTUS assists survivors in navigating the immigration and civil legal systems and finding legal remedies to remove barriers to housing, education and employment survivors face.

This grant funding gives LOTUS’s Fox Valley-based staff attorney Sarah Griffiths the capacity to collaborate with area service providers and organizations to strengthen the network of support in the Fox Valley, helping victims get the trauma-trained and culturally appropriate services they need to recover from their victimization.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) April 23-29 is an opportunity for us to find meaningful ways to amplify the voices of those with lived experience. On April 25, Milwaukee musician Marielle Allschwang will join LOTUS writers in sharing their poetry and original music at the NCVRW Ceremony in the State Capitol rotunda. This event is an amazing opportunity to hold space for healing and honor the joy found in resiliency. You can learn more about the legal and art services that LOTUS provides here and about NCVRW.

LOTUS is profoundly grateful for the support of the Community Foundation as we work to meet the evolving needs of survivors in our community.

We’re featuring a series of articles from local authors celebrating our diversity in the Fox Valley. Our Community Vision Fund (formerly Bright Idea Fund), preserves and enhances the quality of life in Calumet, Outagamie, Shawano and Waupaca counties and the Neenah-Menasha area of Winnebago County by awarding grants to charitable organizations working to make a difference in their communities. Learn how to apply for a grant as a nonprofit organization.


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