No Wrong Door: Collaboration, Access, Justice. The Victim Legal Network of DC

Maria* came to the United States 12 years ago with her husband and daughter. Over the years, the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband gradually became worse, but it wasn’t until he also started abusing their daughter that Maria knew she had to leave. Like many victims of crime, Maria faced a wide range of legal needs. She had to obtain legal assistance in applying for a Civil Protection Order against her abuser, custody proceedings, immigration assistance, and crime victims’ rights representation for her husband’s criminal prosecution. However, when Maria tried to get help she faced a daunting patchwork of organizations and agencies, each one of which could only assist her with part of what she needed.

Coordinated by NVRDC, the Victim Legal Network of the District of Columbia (VLNDC) seeks to help victims like Maria by bringing together the diverse and experienced legal service organizations in DC to create a network where there will be no wrong door for Maria to obtain all the legal help she needs. Currently, VLNDC has 11 member organizations:

Amara Legal Center

Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center


Break the Cycle

Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)

DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP)

DV Clinic at American University

DV Legal Appeals Program (DVLEAP)

Legal Aid of the District of Columbia

Legal Counsel for the Elderly

Network for Victim Recovery of DC

VLNDC envision a future in which Maria or any other crime victim can come to VLNDC and be connected to a free seamless network of referrals for all of their legal needs. In doing so, we hope to provide a supportive environment in which all victims of all crime types are empowered to move forward on their road to recovery. 

VLNDC would like to thank our volunteer designer Monira Sophan de Cuadra for creating a project logo that illustrates our efforts to open these doors and increase access to legal services for victims of crime in DC.


For more information about the VLNDC project please contact the project coordinator, Jabeen Adawi at

The project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime. The National Crime Victims Law Institute (NCVLI) provides technical assistance and support.

This post was produced by NVRDC under grant no. 2014-XV-BX-K010, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office for Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.


*Client’s name has been changed for privacy and confidentiality.