Riddhi Mukhopadhyay, Executive Director of the Sexual Violence Law Center, Wins Prestigious American Bar Association Award
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office would like to congratulate Riddhi Mukhopadhyay, Executive Director of the Sexual Violence Law Center, for receiving the American Bar Association’s prestigious Sharon Corbitt Award. This award was created in 2008 to “recognize exceptional service and leadership in improving the legal response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and/or stalking by a lawyer from any area of practice, including non-profit, private firm, government, corporate counsel, and the judiciary, in the spirit of Sharon L. Corbitt.”
The Sexual Violence Law Center, which is based in Seattle, is a member organization of Project Safety, which provides pro bono civil legal assistance to crime victims to help resolve civil legal issues that arise as a result of victimization. With this legal assistance, which ranges from brief legal advice to full representation in court, Project Safety aims to help victims stabilize their lives and prevent further victimization. During calendar year 2020, Project Safety opened 435 cases involving 1163 victims and their families. Of those, 78% or 909 victims and their children (267 of 435 cases) involved victims of color and their families.
Biography Reposted from the American Bar Association:
“Riddhi Mukhopadhyay is the Executive Director of the Sexual Violence Law Center which protects the privacy, safety, and civil rights of survivors of sexual violence through free holistic legal assistance and representation. She is also on the Shared Leadership Team of Legal Voice, which works to advance justice and build community power for all women, girls, and LGBTQ+ people across the Pacific Northwest. She speaks fluent Hindi, Bengali and Spanish and has over 20 years of providing services to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, first as an interpreter, then as an advocate working with immigrant survivors, followed by being a hospital advocate accompanying rape survivors and finally as an attorney.
Riddhi has been engaged in litigation, policy advocacy, and public education at the state and local levels to advance the rights of survivors. Her work and expertise has led to significant legislative changes in Washington that allow increased access to safety and justice for survivors. Riddhi specializes in working with survivors experiencing high barriers in accessing justice based on criminal history, mental illness, developmental disabilities, limited English proficiency, and immigration status. Riddhi and her team provides legal representation to survivors of sexual violence throughout Washington in multiple legal areas, including protecting their rights in criminal proceedings, seeking civil protection orders, applying for immigration relief, protecting against employment discrimination, representing in student conduct and Title IX hearings and more.
Riddhi started her legal career as a Berkeley Law Foundation Legal Fellow and staff attorney with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project where she represented immigrant detainees with mental health and competency issues, including survivors of trauma and gender-based violence. She was co-counsel on Franco-Gonzales v Holder, a class action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of immigration detainees in California, Arizona, and Washington who have severe cognitive disabilities. Riddhi also worked at the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel (DAC) representing individuals with mental health and developmental disabilities in their civil commitment proceedings, and indigent individuals charged with misdemeanors.
Riddhi currently serves on the boards of Washington’s Judicial Institute and Tasveer. She also serves by appointment on Washington Supreme Court’s Gender & Justice Commission and Washington State’s Sentencing Taskforce, and previously served on Seattle’s Immigrant & Refugee Commission. Riddhi is adjunct faculty at the University of Washington School of Law and Seattle University School of Law. In recognition of her ongoing work to advance the rights of survivors, Riddhi received the 2017 Jeanette Williams Award from the Seattle Women’s Commission and the 2021 Golden Tennis Shoe Award from Senator Patty Murray. Riddhi received her Juris Doctorate from Seattle University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from Duke University.”