first_imgSubmitted by SafePlaceSafePlace clients are served by 34 staff and 50 trained volunteers. Photo courtesy of SafePlace.Starting this month, SafePlace is partnering with Rochester Organization of Families (ROOF) to offer legal advocacy services in Spanish and English to survivors residing in south Thurston County.   Open to all survivors, our legal advocates, Lucy Santiago and Yessica Bevil, will be available on alternate Mondays to provide bicultural/bilingual legal support.   This support includes assistance with sexual and domestic violence protection orders, safety planning, immigration proceedings, navigating the court system, emotional support and referrals to community resources.“Access and transportation are major issues for survivors,” says Santiago, “we are thrilled to be able to travel to ROOF and provide these services during the hours of the food bank.  This is a great example of meeting clients where they are at.”  Adds Kellie McNelly, Executive Director of ROOF, “for over 20 years, ROOF Community Services has been bringing resources to the Rochester community and we are very excited to partner with SafePlace. This is a great opportunity to reach out to a population that might not have the ability to travel to Olympia for this service.”SafePlace is working on increasing our services, particularly legal services, to those in South County for good reason.  The 2005 Thurston County Victim Safety and Offender Accountability Audit, a comprehensive audit of system coordination for services to domestic violence survivors in our community, found three main goals, one of which is to increase victim advocacy services to victims in rural areas.  “We have been actively pursuing public partnerships for years to help us achieve this goal,” says Mary Pontarolo, SafePlace Executive Director.  “Now we’ve been able to find financing and partners to participate in this much-needed outreach.  We are delighted to be able to create more connections with survivors in Rochester and outlying areas.”Additionally, we will begin a 6-session bilingual workshop series called “A Community Conversation,” focused on addressing issues of domestic violence and immigration.  The workshop series will cover topics such as cultural and family values, healthy relationships, the impact of violence on children and what can be done to prevent violence from happening.  A Community Conversation begins May 2, and runs weekly through June 6.To learn more about our legal assistance at ROOF or the Community Conversation series, contact Lucy Santiago at (360) 786-8754 x120 or via email: [email protected] or Yessica Bevil at (360) 786-8754 x108 or via email: [email protected] SafePlace:  SafePlace has been serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence since 1981.  Programs include 24-hour help line, emergency shelter, support groups, sexual assault medical exam advocacy, legal advocacy and in-person advocacy, all of which can be provided in the survivor’s native language.  Contact us anytime at (360) 754-6300 or on the web at www.SafePlaceOlympia.org. Facebook64Tweet0Pin0last_img

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