The Time’s Up legal defense fund is already helping victims of sexual harassment.
Two months after the Time’s Up movement launched, the National Women’s Legal Center has started matching victims of sexual harassment with a network of lawyers and public relations professionals provided by the legal defense fund.
“Since Jan. 1, we’ve had over 1,600 people seek assistance,” NWLC President and CEO Fatima Goss Graves tells PEOPLE. “That number is continuing to grow, which tells us that the need is great.”
“People have begun to boldly share their stories and now their boldly beginning to seek assistance,” adds Graves.
To date, over 600 attorneys have joined the network.
“Some attorneys take cases pro bono while others will do it at reduced rates,” says Graves. “Everyone who joins this network has agreed to provide a free consultation. We are continuing to build out and recruit additional attorneys.”
The Time’s Up initiative has raised over $ 21 million for the legal defense fund, which helps victims of sexual harassment protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it.
“The donations have come from a real range of donors, more than 20,000 people have given to the fund. People have given from every state in the United States and globally,” says Graves.
More than 20,000 people and groups have donated so far, in sums ranging from $ 5 to $ 2 million.
“It’s critical that we keep the momentum up. We have been really successful in raising so much in such a short period of time and driving attention to the cause,” she says. “The need is so great. We aren’t going to stop.”
Movement starters Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Shonda Rhimes each donated $ 500,000, while Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey chimed in with $ 100,000 each. Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain and Cate Blanchett continued the donations with $ 50,000 each.
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.
More than 300 prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives signed an impassioned open letter that officially announced the movement on New Year’s Day.
“The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly,” the letter read in the New York Times.
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