What We Do

Empowering the Survivors of Sex Trafficking

The Amara Legal Center looks at its work through a racial justice lens to provide free legal representation, access to support services, and advocacy for a more equitable legal system for individuals impacted by sex trafficking or involved in sex work in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Legal Services

Our dedicated staff provide a trauma-informed and holistic approach to representing our clients while informing them of their legal rights and navigating the legal system on their behalf.

Service Providers Directory

We work with a network of social service providers to connect our clients to support services that help them in their healing and improve their life circumstances.


We train different sectors of the community to create awareness of sex trafficking in the region and to help professionals, who may come in contact with survivors, be better equipped to identify survivors to prevent criminalization and re-victimization and to connect them to supportive services.

Policy Positions

We advocate on behalf of our clients through our education efforts, meeting with key stakeholders, decision-makers and policymakers to increase awareness and address the barriers that negatively impact our clients’ lives and hinder their opportunities for success

Our Clients

Amara’s clients are sex trafficking survivors and sex workers, predominantly U.S.-born Black cis- and transwomen between the ages of 13 and 29 who are marginalized in society and face complex legal issues. Many experience poverty, housing insecurity, and severe trauma as result of their victimization while being trafficked.

Additionally, whether by choice or necessity, individuals who trade sex are often victims of crime. However, the actual number of D.C. residents who trade sex is difficult to estimate and more resources are needed to research and obtain data for this silent population. Studies have shown that approximately 80% of street-based sex workers have experienced an act of violence—and Trans, Black, and Latina women are the most affected. In D.C., the majority of trans women are Black or Latina and trans women of color are more likely to engage in sex work. Of those surveyed in the DC’s Trans Coalition Need Assessment, more than half of trans women of color had engaged in sex work in comparison to 12% of their White counterparts.