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All survivors and victims of domestic and sexual violence navigate complex legal systems – those with limited English proficiency and those who are deaf or hard of hearing face additional challenges. Language access policies that implement the provision of spoken and sign language interpretation by professional, culturally competent interpreters are critical to ensuring equal access to safety and justice

Interpreters fulfill a critical duty, to place individuals with limited English proficiency on an equal footing with those who understand English. Systems relying on untrained interpreters discriminate against limited English proficient (LEP) victims1 by failing to provide the same level of access as English speaking victims. To ensure meaningful access, LEP victims must have trained and qualified interpreters; and advocates, interpreters and court personnel need to better understand each other’s roles and responsibilities to collaborate on language access.