Our Co-Location Model

CSS Advocates foster collaborative working relationships with SPD investigators, to keep survivors abreast of recent changes in their case and ensure the survivors' voices are heard, by co-locating Advocates in each investigative SPD unit:

CSS Advocates do not represent law enforcement, and are not SPD employees. However, having a CSS Advocate embedded in the police department allows the survivor to have a voice and personal agency within an institution that can often feel powerless. Having an office located next to the detectives is important, as time is often limited; the need for advocacy is often immediately following a violent assault. The Violent Crimes Advocate, for instance, is often asked to respond to homicide scenes and/or Harborview Medical Center with detectives to provide support and resources to traumatized witnesses and/or victims' families immediately after they have occurred. Detectives also have impromptu requests for an Advocate to join them in an interview room if a witness has become upset in order to provide emotional support and counseling resources.

Advocates are often contacted by survivors and/or their community service provider, requesting immediate information about their investigation. For instance, the Sexual Assault Advocate receives calls frequently from social workers from Harborview after someone has had a Sexual Assault Rape Kit appointment. With access to the assigned Detective and their notes, the Advocate can confirm whether the case has been assigned, explain the investigation process, and help set up a time to come in for an interview. In addition, survivors are often waiting years for the status of their backlogged rape kit and will call the Advocate for updates, which they can provide easily with a close working relationship with the crime lab.