Domestic Violence & Elder Crimes Advocates 

Domestic Violence Advocates

Upon being assigned a police report by the SPD Domestic Violence (DV) Unit Sergeant, the Felony Domestic Violence Advocates will contact the victim as soon as possible and assess any safety needs and/or concerns and provide additional safety planning (i.e., shelter recommendations, protection order information, jail custody status information).  The DV Advocates will then explain their role as System-Based Advocates, to assist the victim in navigating through the complex Criminal Justice System. They advise them of their rights as a crime victim and are present with the victim should they wish to attend a specific criminal hearing regarding their case and address the court to relay their wishes and concerns. The DV Advocates can also address the court on the victim's behalf upon their request.

The DV Advocates work closely with the King County Prosecutors Domestic Violence Unit and serve as an intermediary between the victim and the system, constantly communicating to the prosecutor and the court the victim's wishes/concerns in their case. They also ensue that the victim is kept informed about the case as the case proceeds through the system. They accompany victims to DV arraignments, bond hearings, defense interviews, further interviews involving the prosecutor and assigned detective, trial when victim is called to testify and sentencings.

The DV Advocates coordinate with SPD DV Detectives and often assist them in establishing contact with the victim or providing the detectives with additional information provided to us from the victim for additional follow up/investigation. They coordinate with the Department of Corrections and provide case information to Community Corrections Officers and the DOC Victim Advocate Liaison, who then notifies and provides information and advocacy to victims whose offenders are currently serving time in state prison.  

The DV Advocates often work with landlords or Section 8 housing to address any safety issues or concerns the victim may have regarding a DV incident and to educate landlords regarding DV housing laws that protect victims. They can provide the victim with community-based resources such as emergency shelter, housing, counseling, legal assistance, family law issues, eviction concerns, emergency financial assistance, children/youth resources, sexual assault resources, stalking resources and information, crisis information contact info, drug and alcohol information.

Elder Crimes Advocate

The Elder Crimes Advocate supports survivors of elder crimes and vulnerable adults.  The Advocate will keep the victim apprised of developments in the case and will accompany victims to court.  They will often go with Detectives to victims' homes for interviews, to accommodate any mobility issues they may have, and they also often make a number of in-person outreaches on their own to offer additional support and to help put together plans of care.

The Elder Crimes Advocate often takes victims to medical appointments and works with families and other caregivers because their needs are often complex and the perpetrator at times is, or was previously, the caregiver.

The Elder Crimes Advocate will assist victims with obtaining protection orders, usually VAPOs—or consult with family members or other interested parties, walking them through the process.  At times, when there is no one else to pursue the VAPO, the Advocate will be the petitioner.

This position will work with APS investigators, sometimes doing joint outreach with them for a victim they are especially concerned about but has not yet been assigned to a Detective. They respond to numerous requests from APS regarding whether SPD is involved in a given case, and they are the main point of contact when they want to advocate for SPD/ECU involvement in a case they're working on. They also work closely with the Victim Advocates from the Seattle City Attorney's Office and King County Prosecutor's Office when they have an elder/vulnerable victim, even though most of the time there isn't other active SPD involvement.