Pro Bono Net is pleased to join leading civil legal aid and immigrant rights organizations in Georgia in announcing the launch of GeorgiaVictimNetwork.org, a new statewide resource to help victims of crime learn about their rights, identify their legal needs, and connect with resources and representation opportunities.
GeorgiaVictimNetwork.org was created in collaboration with the Georgia Victim Legal Assistance Network (VLAN), which includes the Georgia Legal Services Program, the Georgia Asylum and Immigrant Network, Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Network. Funding for the project was provided by the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC). Georgia’s VLAN network also uses Navigators with the four main civil legal agency partners as advocates who can assist crime victims using the website.
The site was developed using the probono.net platform and dynamically integrates referral information from GeorgiaLegalAid.org, Georgia’s statewide legal information website. The project builds off Pro Bono Net’s experience co-designing CrimeVictimsHelpNY.org, New York’s statewide resource for victims to learn about their rights, connect with resources and obtain assistance.
Civil legal resources can be scarce or difficult to access in Georgia in rural and urban communities. The website features a searchable legal service help directory with filters to help victims find organizations that can assist with specific issues; a self-help resource library to inform them of their rights; and access to online self-help forms on a range of issues. It also features a dedicated gateway for nonprofit legal and victim services advocates assisting victims to access and share practitioner resources and trainings.
GLSP/VLAN Project Director, Vicky Kimbrell said: “Georgia Legal Services is proud to be part of this project and we are really excited about its potential. The ‘Know Your Rights’ library and the free legal forms sections available to provide current, accurate information to any victim of crime who has civil legal concerns. Survivors can get forms for Family Violence Protective Orders, Divorce forms, and applications for TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, Victims Compensation, and child support assistance to provide financial supports for families to establish their independence from violence.”
Pro Bono Net Program Director Liz Keith said, “Georgia VLAN offers a victim-centered online resource to help survivors access a network of resources and services that can help them in legal matters pertaining to housing, family law, employment and more. Pro Bono Net is honored to be part of this effort to expand VLAN’s capacity to reach more victims statewide and to strengthen the essential work of organizations and advocates assisting them.”
During summer 2020, Pro Bono Net and Georgia VLAN partnered with the Weil, Gotshal & Manges associates’ Summer of Service program to develop legal rights resources for GeorgiaVictimNetwork.org. Weil associate Elizabeth Barras provided vital legal research and content development support for the project.
Visit GeorgiaVictimNetwork.org to learn more about the Georgia Victim Legal Assistance Network. To learn more about the history of Victim Legal Assistance Networks and similar projects in other states, visit the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI)’s Victim Networks toolkit.