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Success for teen sexual assault survivor in employment case

Sep 12, 2014 | Success Stories

Cynthia* is a 19-year-old working to transition out of homelessness and into a life of stability and self-sufficiency. She was sexually assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, who was living in the same transitional housing program as her at the time. Cynthia called the police the same night she was raped, immediately sought medical attention, and requested time off from work to receive treatment. Cynthia’s employer then fired her for missing work due to the sexual assault.

In addition to losing her job, Cynthia was worried for her personal safety. The transitional housing program had since kicked out the ex-boyfriend, but after getting out of jail, he immediately showed up at Cynthia’s program and demanded to speak with her. Cynthia’s therapist connected her to LACLJ, where she met with Teen/LA Attorney Angela Turner.

Angela provided safety planning and helped Cynthia understand her legal options. Angela wrote a demand letter to Cynthia’s employer, explaining that they had discriminated against her and violated state leave laws. After negotiating with LACLJ, the employer reinstated Cynthia and moved her to a different location to protect her from retaliation. Angela is also helping Cynthia file an administrative appeal because she was denied financial assistance.

Teen/LA’s sexual assault project and its community partnerships allow LACLJ to provide comprehensive, life-changing services to young survivors like Cynthia. Today, Cynthia is safe, financially stable, and can continue to move toward a brighter future.

*Client’s name has been changed to protect confidentiality.

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