Watch Impact



Legal System Issues

Key issues lead to negative legal outcomes for victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking, the majority of whom are low-income women and children of color:

  • Continuation of cases compromises victims’ safety longer than necessary

  • Plea bargaining without victims’ input reduces transparency, undermines victims’ confidence in the fairness of the process, and negatively affects the way they view case outcomes

  • Stayed/reduced sentences provide inadequate deterrents for perpetrators and leave victims vulnerable to further abuse or retaliation

  • Lack of a designated DV court and bench reduces legal expertise and diminishes the focus on victim safety and well-being and on offender accountability


WATCH’s Work

WATCH provides:

  • Courtroom Monitoring

  • Education and Training for Justice System Personnel

  • Judicial Research Reports, and Policy Recommendations

  • Community Outreach and Education


Primary Outcome:
Improved Legal System

Systems become more just and effective through changes in:

  • Practices, behaviors, attitudes, and sexual and racial biases among judicial personnel

  • Judicial policies, regulations, and legislation

  • Community understanding of the scope and negative impact of domestic violence, sex abuse, and sex trafficking

Secondary Outcome:
Improved Legal Experience for Victims

Legal experiences become fairer and more transparent:

  • Women and children victims are treated more fairly and courteously in the courtroom

  • Cases are resolved rapidly so victims can resume their lives

  • Defendants are sentenced within guidelines more often so victims feel safe

Tertiary Outcome:
Improved Victim Safety and Well-Being

Victims have more confidence in the integrity of the legalsystem and are more likely to use the system to pursue justice.

Women and children experience improvements in quality of life markers, such as:

  • Physical health.

  • Mental health.

  • Ability to access economic/employment opportunities.

  • Ability to access education opportunities.