For Applicant

Interested in services?
The SALS program offers free civil legal assistance to victims of sexual assault. If you have concerns about your privacy, the criminal justice process, education, your housing situation, your employment, immigration, or public benefits, then please contact our program.

We hope that all of our applicants also seek out an advocate in your community to help you access local resources and assist with your SALS application. The SALS program is based out of Helena and does not know your community like a local advocate would. For access to a program near you please see our region list. Programs around the state have been informed of the SALS program and how to refer applicants for services. Your advocate will walk you through submitting an application and release.

After we receive your referral documents, our advocate will review your application and schedule a follow-up call with you to determine if your case is appropriate for our program in collaboration with our contract attorneys.

Please keep in mind that once intake is complete this does NOT mean SALS has accepted the case. We will keep you informed about the status of your application. It is possible that we will need additional information and/or court filings to determine if our program can accept a case or not.

SALS keeps all of the information provided to us by applicants and referring agencies confidential and we will not disclose your information without your consent or prior notice. We will use the information you provide in your application to determine if we can accept your case and assist you. Additionally, we are required to report non-identifying information to our grant funders.

A word about attorney-client privilege
Most of our services and meetings must be conducted over the phone. These meetings will be with SALS staff and/or contracted attorneys and will usually be held with only you present, unless there are special circumstances.

There is a possibility that the presence of a third party, whether that be a family member, a spouse, a friend, or an advocate, could be considered a waiver of the attorney-client privilege. We can discuss this if you have concerns about meeting one on one.

If you need a private place to call the SALS contract attorneys due to safety concerns or lack of adequate telephone service, we can request that your local advocate accommodate your needs.

Safety planning
No matter the incident or pattern of abuse that you have experienced it can cause an ongoing threat to your physical and emotional safety. The SALS advocate will ask you about safety during the initial interview with you and help you think through threats and consider options to help you feel as safe as possible. This conversation may be ongoing throughout our legal assistance with you. Our goal is to empower you to find ways to regain security, but we are most likely not familiar with your community so we ask that you continue to safety plan with your advocates as your situation changes.