Marissa's quest for justice
The first four times Marissa's boyfriend attacked her, she was scared and reluctant to give a formal statement. She was even more reluctant to participate in the criminal justice process. Her situation began to change after she was attacked for the fifth time, despite a court order of protection. The officers who responded to her 911 call brought her into the precinct to meet with our advocate.
First step: safety
Our advocate spent a few hours with Marissa learning the details of the relationship. They completed an extensive safety assessment and created a safety plan. Our advocate then assisted Marissa in giving her statement to the police. The next morning our advocate met her at court and continued working with her throughout the entire legal process, providing support and encouragement as she presented her testimony to the Grand Jury and ultimately testifying at the trial.
Throughout this process, Marissa and her advocate continually reviewed and adjusted her safety plan and worked closely to ensure her safety was never compromised. They secured Marissa a transfer to a new work location, changed the locks in her home, obtained a panic alarm through the police department, and made sure multiple copies of her order of protection were always on hand.
Empowered to find justice
Anticipating the trial, Marissa was nervous but grew stronger and more confident as the months went on. The day she testified wasn’t easy, however she reported feeling a strong sense of empowerment and relief afterward, as it appeared the end of her nightmare was in sight. And indeed it was: the perpetrator was sentenced to over one year in jail. Marissa has since moved to a new, undisclosed location, is thriving in her professional and personal life, and is finally free from abuse she never deserved.