Time's Up Legal Defense Fund Releases Annual Report, Unveils $22M Donated in Fundraising
According to the organization's annual report, released Tuesday, more than 21,000 people from around the world have contributed more than $22 million, to connect those who have experienced workplace sexual harassment and retaliation with attorneys and media specialists.
Nearly a year has passed since the unveiling of the Time’s Up initiative and legal defense fund, and the campaign is taking a bird's-eye view of its first year in an annual report.
The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, administered by the prestigious National Women’s Law Center Fund LLC, has responded to more than 3,700 workers seeking help from all 50 states by providing them the names of lawyers willing to offer a free initial consultation, according to stats from its annual report, which was released Tuesday.
According to the organization, survivors who have endured workplace sexual harassment, assault or retaliation are able to reach out the legal defense fund through an online form. After volunteer attorneys vet the case, staff members provide those seeking help with contact information for three attorneys who practice in their state, who then offer free initial legal consultations.
The report also states that in the first six months, more than $5 million has been allocated to approximately 75 cases, with 35 cases having received media assistance from one of the 50 PR agencies and specialists involved in the network. Nearly 800 attorneys have joined the networks. Approximately $750,000 has also been awarded in outreach grants to 18 organizations that work with low-income workers such as retail workers, farmworkers, nail salon workers and poultry workers. The grants assist in ensuring that survivors know how to contact the fund, are aware of their rights and receive help as they find representation
"We believe that we stand on the precipice of profound change for women. Workers are coming forward and, remarkable, the world is paying attention. Powerful men are being held to account. Women and advocates are linking arms across sectors. We are witnessing a cultural transformation," the organization stated in its report.
Since jumpstarting Time's Up and the legal defense fund, more than 21,000 people from around the world have contributed more than $22 million, to connect those who have experienced workplace sexual harassment and retaliation with attorneys and media specialists. Donations have ranged from $5 to $2 million. The defense fund has also committed more than $5 million to cover legal and PR costs. According to its report, these stats mark the largest amount of money raised on GoFundMe.
Hollywood stars have also made their contributions in support of the defense fund, with the organization listing such stars as Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Shonda Rhimes, Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey and Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake as among the founding donors.
Despite feeling proud of their progress, the organization's leaders assure that they have only just begun: "With your continued support, we believe that one day sexual harassment will become something we only read about in our history books."
Read the full annual report here.