High Risk Victims Section Advocate

The High Risk Victims Section (HRVS) of the Seattle Police Department is comprised of three investigative units, including two human trafficking units that investigate sex and labor trafficking of both foreign and domestic victims, as well as sexual assaults experienced by those in the sex trade; and an internet crimes against children (ICAC) unit investigating offenders who utilize computer technology to exploit children. Human Trafficking detectives in the HRVS are deputized task force officers with the Seattle division of the FBI's Human Trafficking Task Force that the HRVS Advocate sits on as well.  The HRVS Advocate provides legal advocacy, care coordination, and emotional support to victims and their families who have been identified in any HRVS case.

The primary responsibility of the HRVS advocate is to assist victims and their families as they navigate the criminal justice system, from the moment a crime is reported to the adjudication of any criminal charges that may be filed.  The HRVS advocate keeps victims and their families updated on case developments and court dates, benefits they may be entitled to such as Crime Victims Compensation, and ensures they are aware of their legal rights as a crime survivor and that these rights are upheld. 

The position works closely with community-based organizations that specialize in assisting survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, sexual assault, labor trafficking, and sexually-motivated internet crimes.  They ensure survivors are connected with appropriate resources outside of the criminal justice system such as counseling, housing, education, and chemical dependency services as determined by the individual's needs, and that all victims have access to culturally-specific services.  To ensure comprehensive and collaborative service delivery, the HRVS advocate sits on several multidisciplinary teams both through community-based organizations and at the county and federal level, as well as various city, state, and federal task forces focused on combatting commercial sexual exploitation.   

This position provides training on trauma-informed practices, child sex trafficking, victim-centered advocacy, and resiliency and wellness skills to community service providers, medical providers, prosecutors and legal advocates, other law enforcement agencies, and schools.  They help facilitate trauma-informed and victim-centered interview training at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission for the Sexual Assault Investigations: Victim-centered Engagement and Resiliency Tactics course.