Many victims of domestic violence and stalking have limited financial resources, which means that they don't have the ability to retain an attorney to help them with any necessary legal action. However, these victims typically have access to a free victim advocate through a domestic violence service provider or local law enforcement office. These advocates are trained to help victims access services and understand what resources are available to them. Advocates are often the only person who helps victims with protective orders, but they are barred from giving legal advice. This, we believe, results in fewer victims getting the legal protections they are afforded under Utah state law.
We know that these advocates are a tremendous resource, and are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to protective orders. They commonly attend protective order hearings and know a great deal about why orders are or are not awarded and what standards a judge uses to make decisions. But they aren't able to convey this information to clients under current rules, which can result in improper and failed requests for protective orders. This can further discourage victims from taking steps away from abuse.
We want these victims to get the help they need, using the resources they already have access to.
In February 2021, the Certified Advocate Partners Program was authorized by the Utah Supreme Court to operate within the Utah Regulatory Sandbox. In this program, Advocates are able to give legal advice as it pertains to civil protective orders and stalking injunctions in Utah. During our pilot year, we selected a small group of Advocates throughout the State. We provided legal training and, under our direction, they will provide victims with legal services. They are supervised by our Program Coordinator, Hayley Cousin.
We are optimistic that this program will help more victims receive legal protection from their abusers, enabling them time and space to recover and begin the process of moving on to the next step in their lives.
The Certified Advocates began offering services in June 2021.
Below is a complete list of our active Certified Advocates throughout the state.
Karen Arroyo, Layton
Karen is the Victim Services Program Coordinator at the Layton City Attorney’s Office. She has 13 years of experience in victim advocacy and speaks both English and Spanish.
Tess Barger, Moab
Tess is the Director of Client Services at Seekhaven, a domestic violence service provider located in Moab, serving both Grand and San Juan counties. She has 5 years of experience in direct victim advocacy.
Claudia Clark, Salt Lake County
Claudia is a Victim Advocate with the Unified Police Department, and boasts an impressive 22 years of experience in victim advocacy. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Laura Pepe Grimaldo, Park City
Pepe is a Victim Advocate with Peace House, a domestic violence service provider located in Park City. Pepe has 16 years of experience working with victims and is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Haley Mackelprang, Cedar City
Haley is the Domestic Violence Victim Advocate Coordinator and LAP Coordinator at Canyon Creek, which is Cedar City’s domestic violence service provider. Haley has three years of experience in victim advocacy.
Devin Shakespear, Kane County
Devin is the Kane County Victim Services Coordinator within the Kane County Attorney’s Office. Devin has almost 7 years of experience in victim advocacy.
We are pleased to be working with Dr. Joél Arvizo-Zavala, the Executive Director of Resilient Education, to be creating effective data reporting measures to ensure compliance with the Utah Regulatory Sandbox and to ensure the program's efficacy. If you would like to receive periodic emails about the program, please send an email to email@example.com with the subject of "CAPP Data Emails."
As of July 28, 2021, the program has served twenty unique clients throughout Utah.