Attorney Maura Crossin of Shelton has assumed leadership of Victim Rights Center of Connecticut (VRCCT), based in Wallingford, following the retirement of founder James Clark, who will remain as counsel for the organization during the transition.
In her new role as Executive Director, Crossin leads a team of four additional attorneys providing no-fee legal services to victims of sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse and homicide who otherwise could not afford representation.
A Senior Attorney at VRCCT, Crossin also serves as Guardian Ad Litem for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, representing children identified as victims in sexual assault and family violence.
Retiring founder Clark says Crossin is “more than ready to lead Victim Rights Center forward. Her sensitive and comprehensive approach to victims’ needs, excellent legal skills, and work ethic combine with innovative ideas about the development of victim law to make her a great choice as Executive Director.”
VRCCT Board Chairman Wick Chambers recalls interviewing Crossin in 2015 when she applied for a position as Associate Attorney.
“Jim Clark and I were so impressed with her leadership qualities that we agreed Maura could someday make an excellent executive director. Since then, her performance only increased our initial belief that Maura would be the best successor to Jim,” said Chambers.
A member of the Connecticut Bar and graduate of Quinnipiac University School of Law, Crossin joined VRCCT as an Associate in 2015. She previously worked at Driscoll Law Offices (Shelton, CT) and as a pro-bono attorney for the International Institute of Connecticut. She has also worked as a Family Violence Victim Advocate and Victim Advocate Supervisor for the YWCA’s Domestic Abuse Services (Greenwich, CT).
Founded in 2013, VRCCT is the only no-fee legal services organization in Connecticut providing trauma-informed, holistic victim services to victims of violent crime in criminal, civil and family courts, addressing issues including housing, employment, education, immigration, compensation and benefits.
“There are so many victims of violent crime without resources for legal assistance with aspects of their lives affected by these acts,” said Crossin. “They not only need help, they need professionals who understand the trauma and ramifications of violent crime and can navigate the issues they face. That’s VRCCT.
“My goal now is to expand our network and reach more of the thousands of victims in the state.”
Funded by grants awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women as well as private donations, VRCCT currently serves Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven and Eastern Fairfield counties.
VRCCT operates in concert with sexual assault crisis services and other social services providers to integrate legal solutions into a comprehensive plan of recovery. It is the only legal non-profit group in the state that specifically identifies serving LGBT victims as part of its core mission.