Legal Advocates for Domestic Violence Victims to be Hired
SAN JUAN – The Women’s Advocate Office (OPM by its Spanish initials) announced Thursday the allocation of $125,000 by the 9-1-1 Emergency System for contracting five legal advocates to be assigned to the regions with the highest number of incidences.
“The contribution of funds by the 9-1-1 Emergency System to the Women’s Advocate Office represents the strengthening of the safety framework for victims, rapid response and the coordination of services for the management of situations related to humane treatment, domestic violence, sexual aggression, stalking and gender discrimination,” Ombudswoman Wanda Vázquez stated.
The official, along with the executive director of the 9-1-1 Emergency System, Juan Morales Vargas, said that once victims face the justice system, often they do not provide the information necessary for judges to make the correct determinations regarding their safety.
“Legal advocates are a vital resource because they are the officials with the training or studies in the area of counseling, guidance, psychology, social work or legal advocacy to accompany the victim during the process of applying for protection orders, filing of charges and other court processes,” the women’s advocate said.
With OPM’s current resources, thanks to the 9-1-1 system, about 160 female victims each with different legal needs have been helped.
In addition, with OPM’s legal services and the help of NGOs, it has offered 29,327 services, and the call to strengthen its services due to high demand has been strong.
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