For survivors of sex trafficking, access to a lawyer can make the difference between imprisonment and freedom, maintaining and losing custody of their children, staying safe and living in fear. Annually serving almost 200 clients through direct legal representation – intakes and referrals from partners are by video and phone where possible; court dates await court reopenings – Amara helps survivors obtain legal protection from abusers, reunite with their children, seal unjust criminal records that would limit their opportunities for employment, education, and housing, and, during the pandemic, assist with unemployment benefits and appeals. Training for lawyers, social service organizations, and community members (virtual as long as necessary) expands the public’s ability to identify survivors and refer them for support. Meanwhile, Amara’s policy advocacy helps stop the unjust prosecution of victims, and its awareness campaigns help prevent trafficking ... before it starts.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; MD-Frederick County; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-Prince William County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax; VA-City of Falls Church

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49)

Population(s) Served: Individuals who identify as LGBTQ; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Women/Girls

  • Number of people (clients, patrons, students, etc) we serve annually:   100
  • Number of volunteers who work with us annually:   30
  • Number of hours of advocacy we engage in annually:   1040

Awards & Recognition



  • Why Do We Lock Up Survivors of Sex Trafficking?
    Wed Sep 28 2016, Nicholas Kristof Blog - The New York Times  
    The story of one of our amazing survivors was highlighted by Andrea Powell of Fair Girls in NYT's Nicholas Kristof's blog.

Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Amara Legal Center is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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