25 Jun Mobile Advocacy –Meeting You Where You Are
Jaime had been reserved during the initial conversations with WTLC, and our Advocate, Aly, asked if the Center itself could possibly be preventing them from sharing with her. When Jaime said yes, Aly offered the option of having WTLC services hosted at a different location. Aly saw that Jaime’s reaction was one of surprise and that they had never considered receiving counseling outside of a ‘clinical’ setting. Aly explained that it was important for them to feel comfortable during sessions and that she understood they had already been through a lot. Jaime said that the only place where they truly felt safe was their home, so Aly scheduled their next session there. Immediately Aly saw a change, Jaime was more relaxed and carried on longer conversations. In previous sessions, Jaime had mentioned feeling uncomfortable and when Aly asked what thoughts or objects helped them feel grounded and safe they could not think of any.
As the oldest domestic violence shelter in Orange County and the third oldest in the nation, WTLC has long been committed to innovative solutions to barriers preventing survivors from accessing much needed services. Since 2017, WTLC has provided Mobile Advocacy services to the communities of Orange County. Through Mobile Advocacy, survivors have access to support even if they choose not to enter into emergency shelter, whether this decision is due to physical or financial limitations, cultural stigma or fear, or simply because they have decided a shelter program is not in the best interest of their recovery. WTLC Advocates meet participants in the comfort of their own homes or in another safe space in the community, as identified by the survivors themselves. There, participants have access to case management, counseling, legal advocacy, and resource and referral services. Through Mobile Advocacy services, WTLC Advocates also have the opportunity to broaden understanding on not only the survivors we serve, but their culture, values, and unique backgrounds which bolster their resilience.
Mobile Advocacy is also a benefit for those survivors who would not otherwise be able to access services due to transportation, childcare, or other safety barriers. This program not only allows WTLC to meet survivors where they are, but also provides the opportunity for interventions to include members of a survivor’s family, who may also be at risk or who can support the process of safety and re-stabilization for a survivor. Expanding our reach to include all survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, and not just those who enter shelter, has allowed us to make a greater impact on the people we serve and to reduce interpersonal violence overall.
WTLC is the first and only domestic violence and human trafficking agency in Orange County to bring services to survivors’ homes, a safe place in their community, or at WTLC’s Center. If you are interested in services, please call our 24-Hour Helpline at (877) 531-5522 or email [email protected]