AEquitas' (|'ekwitäs|; EH-qui-tahs) mission is to improve the quality of justice in sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and human trafficking cases by developing, evaluating, and refining prosecution practices that increase victim safety and offender accountability. The complex and unique dynamics of these crimes against women demand a nuanced response by prosecutors and a broader concept of what constitutes justice in these cases. In addition to offender accountability, the best possible outcomes must include consideration of the victim's history, experience, and perspective; the impact of the criminal justice process on the victim, and, where relevant, the victim's children and family; and the impact on the victim's workplace and community. Named after the Roman goddess of equity and fairness, AEquitas was created in order to provide prosecutors with the support, training, mentorship, and resources necessary to objectively evaluate and constantly reexamine and refine their approach to justice in cases involving violence against women.
AEquitas receives funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). It is a partnership between OVW, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), and the Battered Women's Justice Project (BWJP). In the spirit of promoting a coordinated response to violence against women, AEquitas collaborates with national, state, and local advocates and agencies to encourage a victim-centered response to these cases while giving prosecutors the tools they need to succeed in court. AEquitas also partners with forensic healthcare professionals, law enforcement, the judiciary, and other organizations representing allied professionals to ensure the proper collection and preservation of evidence, effective use of expert witnesses, and to improve results in the criminal justice system in order to more effectively prosecute offenders.
AEquitas' staff is comprised of former prosecutors and other allied professionals who have a history of collaborating with state, federal, and tribal governments and nongovernmental agencies to improve the criminal justice response to violence against women. AEquitas and its partners are committed to encouraging prosecutors throughout the country to build strong partnerships with their law enforcement, medical, and victim advocacy organizations to achieve justice for victims and the communities they serve.
AEquitas supports prosecutors and allied professionals by conducting legal research; providing 24/7 case consultation; hosting specialized or state-specific training events and webinars; and publishing articles, monographs, and other resources on topics relevant to the prosecution of violence against women. Specifically, AEquitas hosts several training events, including: an Institute on the Prosecution of Human Trafficking; Institutes on the Prosecution of Domestic Violence, I and II; Institutes on the Prosecution of Sexual Violence, I and II; the Prosecution of Sexual Assault in P.L. 280 Jurisdictions; and Prosecuting Domestic Violence Homicides.
AEquitas headquarters are located in Washington, DC with regional offices that enable staff to maintain and create close working relationships with prosecutors' offices, prosecutor associations, STOP grant administrators, campuses, and other allied professionals in their geographic regions, while monitoring emerging issues and promising practices across the country.