I grew up in Brewster, where my parents owned an orchard. After I graduated from high school, I attended Central Washington University and earned a Bachelor of Science in family and consumer sciences. In my career I have only worked for non-profits; first at Catholic Family & Child Services, the YMCA and Columbia Valley Community Health as a case manager for adults, and finally at SAGE for the past seven years. I have always been drawn to helping people. It wasn't until I was helping someone else access services for an unhealthy relationship, I realized that I hadn't known that SAGE had existed in our valley for over 30 years. If I had known, I would have used them for my own experiences with an abusive relationship. I had a great support system and came through my experience not only as a survivor, but now as a thriver. I look forward to going to work each day to make a difference for others who may be victims of crime. I am now happily re-married with one daughter and two stepsons.
1. SAGE stands for Safety, Advocacy, Growth and Empowerment. We want people who come into our agency to feel all of those things. People who have been victims of a crime often feel powerless and unsafe. We want to make sure that they begin their journey to healing the minute they step through our doors and that they are treated with dignity and respect. Our vision is to create communities without violence where all can live safely with dignity and respect. Most people think of us as the agency that deals with victims of domestic violence, and yes we do, but we also help people who have been victims of sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, hate crimes, arson, robbery, suicide, homicide, identity theft, fraud and many other crimes.
2. All of our services are FREE, confidential, victim-centered, state-certified and open to anyone. Staff and volunteers are trained in unique issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and crime victim services. Services available include counseling, advocacy, emergency shelter, information and referral, safety planning, community education, professional training and in services, a 24-hour crisis line and teen text line, support groups, help with protection orders, food baskets, diapers and wipes and clothing. All services are provided in both English and Spanish. We also don't require identification, insurance or papers to receive services at SAGE.
3. We travel! Having a service area as large as Chelan and Douglas Counties, we realize that people may have transportation issues and are not able to get to our main office in Wenatchee, so we have advocates and therapists who travel to outlying areas. We are in Chelan at the hospital every Monday. We also have the ability to go to schools to see students in need of services, and we have spaces in Leavenworth, Waterville and Bridgeport where we are able to see people. We also assist clients who are in need of support at court appearances or medical appointments due to their victimization.
4. We work with law enforcement, prosecutors and Child Protective Services (CPS) to provide forensic interviews and wrap-around services to children and families who have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect in our Child and Family Advocacy Center. We are the only nationally-accredited center between Seattle and Spokane. By interviewing a child victim in our center, law enforcement and CPS receive an encrypted DVD that includes audio and video of the interview so the child victim talks about their victimization as few times as possible. The DVD may then be entered into evidence and may save the child from having to testify in court if the judge chooses to review the recording in chambers. The services that our Child Advocacy Center provides are recognized nationally as a best practice. It helps the child and his/her family feel more comfortable in a child-friendly environment and introduces them to the people who can help them to begin to recover from their trauma.
5. In 2018, SAGE will celebrate being in the Wenatchee Valley for 40 years. Many people don't realize that we even exist, much less the services we can provide to them. We honestly believe in our mission to educate, advocate and empower to end violence. Staff work toward that goal every single day. We all hope one day to work our way out of a job. We have a 24 hour a day crisis line (663-7446) and a teen text line (669-9652) that is answered locally by trained staff and volunteers. If you know of someone who may have been a victim of a crime, or have a question, please contact us. We are here to help!
We are always in need of volunteers. People to serve on our board of directors, volunteering in the office, or on our crisis line. We will be hosting our 4th Annual Enchanted Evening Gala Fundraiser on March 5. Please come and help keep our services free to our victims. We are currently accepting donations for our live and silent auctions for this event.