Monroe PD Domestic Violence Advocate Provides Bilingual One-on-One Support
MONROE – When the police learn that someone is injured, they receive the call for medical treatment.
Jamie Ruiz is the Domestic Violence Advocate with the Monroe Police Department. She works for Snohomish County Domestic Violence Services (DVS), a nonprofit agency.
Each case is referred to him.
Ruiz, who speaks English and Spanish, ensures that survivors have help navigating the aftermath, from drafting a restraining order, getting in touch with lawyers, helping with custody issues. children or just need emotional support.
“Some people want to be heard, others need the help of a parenting plan,” Ruiz said. “We are trying to find what works best. “
She receives five to seven such referrals every week at Monroe.
“One of the struggles with domestic violence is that people think about physical assault,” said Monroe Police Cmdr. Paul Ryan. Controlling the freedom of others, humiliation, verbal abuse, intimidation, manipulation, deception and withholding of funds also constitute domestic violence.
“911 calls aren’t always what they seem,” Ryan said. Agents are trained to ask the right questions to identify relationship stress, Ryan said. Sometimes alcohol and drug abuse covers up coping with the abuse, Ryan said.
People can go to the police department, 818 W. Main St., for help.
There is also the helpline for domestic violence services:
425-25ABUS (425-252-2873). Leave a voicemail message with the details or just ask to be called back and someone from DVS will get back to you.
Friends can also call this line on behalf of someone. In fact, a friend can bridge to someone who needs help from DVS, DVS representatives said.
Michael Whitney photo
Lawyer Jamie Ruiz’s role is to support victims of domestic violence by providing them with resources, advice and a person to talk to after experiencing a trauma. She speaks English and Spanish. The Monroe Police Department has arranged for a domestic violence advocate to work with the department for many years now.
It takes an average of seven incidents for a survivor to recover from a situation. Circumstances can make it difficult to leave. Sometimes children are involved.
Knowledge is the power to get out of a situation, Ruiz said. Knowing what resources are available is one piece. Safety planning is another. These are areas that Ruiz can help guide someone.
People who need to flee are put in place with housing references from the DVS housing service. They will also look for friends and family who might be able to take in a survivor. Emergencies can be transferred to a 24-hour security shelter that DVS operates in central Snohomish County.
Chris McBride oversees DVS’s legal counsel service and its prevention and awareness service.
DVS does not have lawyers, but strives to provide a set of resources, McBride said. Access to lawyers is one of the biggest needs of nonprofits, he said.
Ruiz provides emotional support in the courtroom and advice outside of it. There is a “fear factor” involved that Ruiz tries to help allay. “A lot of these documents are not in Spanish,” Ruiz noted.
With Monroe’s makeup, a bilingual advocate is important, Ryan said. Ruiz’s predecessor was also bilingual.
Ruiz, for example, helps survivors reflect while drafting requests for protective orders to file with the judge.
Survivors are often low-income and may not be able to afford a relocation, but domestic violence is not exclusive to any group. Ruiz recalls a case in a long-standing marriage where the husband became senile and the changes in his mind turned him into an abuser.
For the police, in cases of domestic violence, if there is a probable cause and less than four hours have passed, the police are required by law to make an arrest. Cold case assaults are not the same, Ryan said.
When the cause is established, police can intervene tactfully without creating a visible scene, Ryan said.
Any alarm bells to an agent indicating domestic violence are sent to Ruiz as a referral.
DVS does outreach and talks with small groups.
Its purple and white brochures are found throughout the county.
The 24-hour DVS hotline – 425-25ABUSE (425-252-2873) – takes calls in all languages. Calls are free and confidential. They take collect calls. They use telephone interpreters to translate and also have a few employees who speak Spanish, including Ruiz.
Its website is www.dvs-snoco.org
Mail can be sent to DVS at:
P.O. Box n ° 7
Everett, Washington 98206
DVS insists on calling 911 first in an emergency.
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