For a survivor of sex trafficking, access to a lawyer can make all the difference – the difference between imprisonment and freedom, between keeping a family together and losing custody, between staying safe and living in fear. Serving 150 clients annually, Amara Legal Services is the only organization in DC that provides free legal services exclusively to people whose rights have been violated through commercial sex. Through direct legal representation (coordinated with pro bono attorneys and legal interns), Amara helps clients obtain legal protection from abusers, reunite with their children, and seal unjust criminal records that would otherwise limit their opportunities for employment, higher education, and housing. Staff attorneys oversee the entire process, tailoring services to meet the unique needs of individuals who have endured extreme trauma. Regular trainings for lawyers and social service organizations expand the community’s ability to identify survivors and refer them for support. Meanwhile, Amara’s policy advocacy helps stop unjust persecution of victims, and its awareness campaigns help prevent trafficking before it starts. Here, your support restores justice … and hope.

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 (FY2015)

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

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