What We Do
Survivors of crime have a whole array of legal needs due to the victimization. The types of civil legal services the ROAR Center provides are issues that are often impacted by the crime: crime victims’ rights, protective and peace orders, housing, bankruptcy to ensure collection of judgment against person who caused harm, education and employment (seeking accommodations), expungement (if charges were the result of being victimized), and CICB appeals.
We believe in a holistic approach to legal services. The need for assistance does not stop with legal issues. Crime often impacts survivors’ mental and physical health, and overall quality of life (i.e., basic needs, resources, etc.) At the ROAR Center, our staff offers wraparound support for these needs too.
Qualifying for our services is simple! You only need to be a resident of Baltimore city who was harmed in the city with an annual income of no more than $70k without dependents, and an additional $5k for each dependent. You do NOT have to report the crime to police or any other authority.
Below are some examples of client stories and situations for whom we can provide help. Please know that we offer support to our clients based on the needs they identify to us:
A single mother of three children has tragically lost her oldest son to gunfire. He was shot and killed 2 blocks from their home. She is extremely afraid to leave the house, since people in the neighborhood have alerted her that the shooters think she is talking too much to the police about the night he was murdered. She has called out from work 2-3 days each week. Her employer is now saying she has used up all her leave and might be fired. She has kept her 6-year-old daughter out of school every day since the murder, and her teacher is now saying she will have to repeat first grade. Her 12-year-old son goes to school about 4 days out of any given week, but he is terrified to walk to school, and his grades have dropped dramatically.
- We could assist the mother in getting an emergency transfer if she lives in public housing, transferring a Section 8 voucher, or breaking her lease and support her move out of the neighborhood to place where she and her family can feel safer, and outside of the watchful eye of the people involved in the shooting.
- We could help negotiate additional leave and support from her employer to help her try to keep her job.
- We could identify any financial support for which she may be eligible.
- With mom, we can advocate for the children to get the additional school-related support they may need to get back on track.
- We could provide counseling to all the family members.
- We could connect her to homicide survivor support groups.
A 54-year old woman was sexually assaulted by her supervisor at the hotel where she has worked for the past 13 years. He had been making demeaning and harassing comment for years, but this time he pushed her onto the bed and “had his way” with her. She has not been able to leave her house since this happened. She cannot bring herself to tell her husband what happened, and her kids are all very worried, but she just keeps telling them she is sick.
- We could offer her counseling.
- We could go over her legal options with her – to report to the police, to report to the employer or not report the incident at all – and help her navigate whatever options she chooses.
- Depending on how her employer responds, we can help her access financial benefits such as unemployment insurance, disability income, and refer to outside attorneys for a possible lawsuit against the employer. (ROAR is barred from such lawsuits by our funders)
- We could help her access an emergency gynecological exam to ease her concerns about pregnancy or disease.