Tahirih Justice Center

The Tahirih Justice Center is a national non-profit organization that supports the courage of immigrant women and girls who refuse to be victims of violence by providing holistic legal services and advocacy in courts, communities, and Congress. Working to create a world where women and girls can live in safety and with dignity, Tahirih protects women and girls seeking protection from gender-based human rights abuses such as domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, honor crimes, and forced marriage.
Sep 25, 2012

Layli Named 1 of 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs

We are so excited to share the news that Goldman Sachs has named Layli Miller-Muro, founder and executive director of the Tahirih Justice Center (Tahirih), as one of the "100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs" of 2012! Layli will be honored this October at Goldman Sachs' Builders and Innovators Conference in Newport Beach, California featuring attendees including Bill Clinton and Malcolm Gladwell.

The Goldman Sachs award goes to leaders in organizations across a wide spectrum of fields, from finance to philanthropy, and aims not only to recognize achievement, but also to help recipients grow stronger by fostering discussions between established leaders in the fields and newer innovators at the Builders and Innovators conference in October. David Solomon, co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs, said that "This gathering is the first of its kind, bringing together emerging entrepreneurs from a diverse set of industries with more seasoned entrepreneurs to discuss how to build great and enduring companies that reshape their industries and make the world better through innovation."

The Tahirih Justice Center is a recognized leader in international women's rights and works to protect courageous immigrant women and girls fleeing violent abuses including rape, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and domestic violence. In Houston, Baltimore, and Greater Washington, DC, Tahirih provides free legal and social services and, at a federal level, engages in public policy advocacy to ensure that laws provide women and girls with long-term protection from violence. It has long been recognized as a leader and innovator in its field, receiving under Layli's leadership the 2007 Washington Post Award for Management Excellence and many other awards. Its innovative use of pro bono attorneys to quintuple its resources was featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Marshaling the resources of over 1,000 lawyers at large law firms, Tahirih has won 99% of its cases during the last 15 years and helped over 14,000 women and girls. Tahirih is in the process of replicating its model for providing services nationally. In 2012, in addition to receiving the Goldman Sachs award, Layli was named one of Newsweek/Daily Beast's 150 Most Fearless Women in the World and received the Diane Von Furstenberg People's Voice Award.

The Tahirih Justice Center is a national non-profit organization that protects courageous immigrant women and girls refusing to be victims of violence by providing holistic legal services and advocacy in courts, congress, and communities. www.tahirih.org

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Jul 17, 2012

Announcing the Opening of Tahirih in Baltimore!

Building on a 15 year track record of service to more than 14,000 women and girls fleeing gender-based violence, the Tahirih Justice Center (Tahirih) announces the formal opening of the organization’s Baltimore Office at 201 N. Charles Street, Suite 920 in the heart of downtown Baltimore.  As a result of generous local foundation and government funds through the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention, Tahirih will deliver lifesaving legal services for immigrant women and girls throughout Greater Baltimore who are fleeing gender-based violence.

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Falls Church, VA, the national organization has served Marylanders for more than a decade; historically, 30% of Tahirih’s clients in the region are Maryland residents. Tahirih’s presence in Baltimore could not come at a more critical time; the community’s immigrant population continues to grow exponentially. As of Census 2010, nearly one in ten Baltimore residents are immigrants. Immigrant women and girls fleeing violence face multiple barriers to the resources they need to rebuild their lives in safety.

Recognizing that many immigrant women in desperate need of Tahirih’s services did not have the means to travel beyond the city limits to access services, Tahirih opened a small satellite office in Baltimore City in early 2010. Hosted by generous local law firms such as DLA Piper and Miles and Stockbridge, Tahirih took a low cost approach to this expansion, meeting clients in donated office space, deploying existing staff from the Virginia office, and leveraging the support of local pro bono attorneys who volunteer their time and talents to represent women and girls seeking justice. The organization’s empowering co-counsel relationship model—through which Tahirih attorneys guide the litigation strategy and work closely with volunteer attorneys to train and mentor them on legal issues and cultural norms—is efficient and highly effective, resulting in a 99% litigation success rate.

Tahirih’s permanent Baltimore office will promote access to justice and provide free, multicultural, holistic direct legal services to vulnerable immigrant women and girls throughout Maryland who have survived despicable forms of abuse, including human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault, as well as other forms of gender-based harm. Tahirih staff provide free, holistic legal representation to enable these courageous survivors to access the protections to which they are entitled, including asylum applications (for victims of gender-based violence), T visas (for victims of human trafficking), U visas (for victims of certain violent crimes), Violence Against Women’s Act petitions (for domestic violence victims), and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (for unaccompanied minor girls). In addition, Tahirih provides vital social services for immigrant women, as well as community outreach, education, and, training activities designed to equip other members of the community – law enforcement, educators, social services providers, among others – with tools, strategies, and resources to meet the needs of underserved victims.

Tahirih is grateful to the following foundations whose support has made its service to Maryland women possible. The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation and the Morton and Jane Blaustein Foundation, the Abell Foundation, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, and the Aaron and Lillie Straus Foundation.

On July 26, 2012 the Baltimore office will host an open house reception for local supporters from 4 pm to 7 pm at the new office located on 201 N Charles Street, Suite 920. Guests are invited to gather to learn about Tahirih’s services in the community and meet Tahirih staff and volunteers. To learn more about this event and to RSVP please contact Prema Winn at 571.282.6189 or prema@tahirih.org. For more information on the Tahirih Justice Center, please visit http://www.tahirih.org.

Jul 10, 2012

Celebrating our 15th Anniversary!

It is hard to believe, but the Tahirih Justice Center (Tahirih) is now 15 years old! We hope you’ll take a moment to view our 15th Anniversary Video and celebrate with us.

Over the past decade and a half, we have been privileged to help over 14,000 immigrant women and girls receive legal protection, rebuild their lives, and restore their dignity. It is because of you - an incredible community of donors, pro bono attorneys, and non-profit partners - that we are able to engage in high-impact public policy advocacy and direct legal services on behalf of women fleeing violence.

Your support breathes the life into our mission. With your help, since opening our doors in 1997, we:

  • Opened offices in three cities throughout the United States;
  • Developed a network of over 1,100 pro bono attorneys from over 175 law firms who donated nearly $8 million last year in free services for our clients;
  • Empowered over 630 women with the social, medical, and other resources they need to rebuild their lives;
  • Conducted over 250 trainings to equip law enforcement, social service providers, clergy, community advocates, and other communities with tools and resources to protect immigrant women fleeing violence;
  • Raised the profile of the courageous women we serve by appearing in over 250 media outlets including Newsweek Magazine, National Public Radio, CNN, the Washington Post, New York Times, and Fox News, among others;
  • Became an established leader in the field and was recognized with 27 awards for management excellence and leadership in the fight against gender-based violence;
  • Were highlighted by the Stanford Social Innovation Review for best practices in the management of our pro bono attorney network;
  • Grew to a $10 million organization with over 30 staff;
  • Multiplied every dollar donated into $4 of impact; and
  • Maintained 99% litigation success rate.

On legislative fronts, Tahirih has engaged with lawmakers in targeted public policy initiatives designed to enact new laws and strengthen existing ones to safeguard and protect women and girls fleeing violence. We brought attention to formerly hidden injustices – from the way that “mail-order bride” agencies operate to the significant, but often unnoticed, number of forced marriages that occur in the United States.

While we look back with pride at our 15 years of accomplishments, we look forward with apprehension at the looming challenge ahead to do more to serve courageous women and girls seeking justice and to make a greater impact on the laws and policy affecting their well-being. In spite of the laws that have been developed and the demands of women around the world for justice, violence against women is a profound and persistent global reality. For women aged between 15 and 44, this violence results in more deaths and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war. Around the world, at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Some courageous women escape their circumstances and demand justice. It is these women that Tahirih is honored to serve.

Our next challenge is to grow nationally to serve more women and girls in the years ahead. To that end, we have opened offices in Houston, Texas, and in Baltimore, Maryland, in addition to the Washington, DC area. With your support we can grow further and serve more!

Please watch our 15th Anniversary Video to see Tahirih’s growth and celebrate with us. None of these victories would be possible without your support!

Thank you for all you do to promote justice for women and girls!

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