A team from Catholic Charities of Oregon went to the largest city on the Oregon coast in mid-August to train social service providers in options available for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and stalking.
The training drew 22 people and was held in collaboration with Newport-based My Sister’s Place, which provides comprehensive services for Lincoln County residents experiencing abuse.
Those who attended included domestic violence advocates from Newport and Lincoln City, staff in the Lincoln County School District, child advocates from the Department of Health and Human Services, community health providers, and culturally specific nonprofit advocates.
The Catholic Charities team was made up of Immigration Legal Services Director John Herrera, Senior Attorney and Rural Program Coordinator Andreea Szabo, Rural Program Legal Assistant Valentina Jimenez, legal intern Antonio Tellez Santaella and undergraduate intern Jonathan Vazquez.
John Herrera, Immigration Legal Services director for Catholic Charities of Oregon, gives a presentation to Spanish speaking survivors of abuse and other crimes.
The same day, Catholic Charities ILS Rural Program staff and My Sister’s Place organized a community education event, presented in Spanish, about immigration options for survivors. Thirty-six community members attended. The event was advertised in social media, at the local courthouse, library, recreation center, housing authority, fish packing plant and restaurants. Less than 24 hours later, the Rural Program had received six referrals.
Andreea Szabo, senior attorney and Rural Program coordinator for Catholic Charities of Oregon, helps Lincoln County service providers learn about laws that aid abuse victims.
Both outreach events were funded by a grant from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. The funds allow the Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services Rural Program to provide community outreach in rural areas, as well as free consultations and representation in immigration petitions for survivors.