Providing a listening ear
By PETER KASPARI
When a person becomes the victim of domestic violence, they may not have the strength to speak up about what happened to them.
That’s where people like Paula Griffin, of the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center, come in to help victim’s have a voice.
Griffin, who is the court advocate for D/SAOC, has many different responsibilities.
“I go to Magistrate Court every morning in Webster County and on Tuesdays in Hamilton County,” she said. “I’m there to be the eyes and ears of D/SAOC as far as domestic assault suspects.”
She also works closely with the Webster County attorney’s office.
“I work with Shelly Escobedo, the victim witness coordinator, and we go over trials, depositions or anybody that needs an advocate,” Griffin said.
As an advocate, Griffin works with domestic violence victims in many different aspects.
“I talk with them to make sure they’re doing well emotionally and see that they understand the court process,” she said.
Griffin joined D/SAOC in January 2011 as the house manager. She worked as an in-house counselor before becoming court advocate in January 2012.
While there are challenges to her job, Griffin said it’s most rewarding working with victims.
“It’s knowing that I’m helping women and men get through a really difficult time,” she said. “I’m helping them understand what domestic violence is about, and am able to help the victim move on and make them stronger.”
“It’s rewarding seeing them move from a victim to a survivor,” she added.
When she’s not working at D/SAOC, Griffin said she enjoys being with family.
“I’ve got quite a large family, and I enjoy spending time with my husband Scott and our grandchildren,” she said. “I also like to spend time outside.”