The sexual harassment that has been reported in the last few months has been both horrific and illuminating. We stand with the brave individuals who have come forward, at great risk to themselves, to protect others from similar behavior.
The National Women’s Law Center is excited to announce the launch of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which is housed at and administered by the National Women’s Law Center, connects those who experience sexual misconduct including assault, harassment, abuse and related retaliation in the workplace or in trying to advance their careers with legal and public relations assistance. The Fund will help defray legal and public relations costs in select cases based on criteria and availability of funds. Donations to the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund are tax deductible through the Direct Impact Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or through the National Women’s Law Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The initiative was spearheaded by actors and others in the entertainment industry, attorneys Tina Tchen and Roberta Kaplan, and top public relations professionals. Women in Hollywood came together around their own experience of harassment and assault, and were moved by the outpouring of support and solidarity against sexual harassment from women across sectors. This inspired them to help create a Fund to help survivors of sexual harassment and retaliation in all industries—especially low-income women and people of color. They worked together in an historic first to design a structure that would be both inclusive and effective. The Fund will be housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center and the participating attorneys will be working with the Center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity. Access to prompt and comprehensive legal and communications help will empower individuals and help fuel long-term systemic change.
This Fund will enable more individuals to come forward and be connected with lawyers — regardless of industry, rank or role. Countless activists, celebrities, and other donors want to see an end to a culture that allows sexual harassment and retaliation of those who courageously step forward to go unpunished. This effort is not just to support women in Hollywood, but others in need – the factory worker, the waitress, the teacher, the office worker, and others subjected to this unacceptable behavior. Now is the time to finally stop the sexual harassment and retaliation that has often gone unchecked.