MAYS LANDING – Every 12 months, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office observes Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring workers customers with Hispanic roots and record. This month, the prosecutor honored the office’s to start with bilingual Sufferer Witness Advocate, Maria Sosa.
All through her 28-calendar year profession in target advocacy, Sosa stated she has experienced the require and demand from customers for much more bilingual pros, specially in regulation enforcement. All through her employment at the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Business office, she labored with additional than 43,000 Spanish speaking victims, who share her get in touch with facts with other victims in their communties.
“The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office environment is thankful to have a useful resource like bilingual Sufferer Witness Advocate Maria Sosa who is ready to crack language boundaries and be accessible to Spanish speaking victims in the group,” Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Cary Shill mentioned. “As ACPO’s initial bilingual Target Witness Advocate, the operate of her target advocacy vocation speaks for alone with the expert services she has supplied to 43,000 Spanish talking victims. I applaud her advocacy support of 28 a long time to crime victims in our communities.”
Sosa was born in Puerto Rico and in 1970, moved to Massachusetts with her household. As a youthful female and one mom, she relocated to New Jersey to raise her two youngsters and be near to her rapid relatives. In 1993, she began her career in sufferer advocacy as the shelter supervisor for AVANZAR (formerly identified The Women’s Middle). She also presented translation for Spanish speaking consumers, facilitated group counseling periods, and supplied crisis intervention to the Spanish speaking victims of domestic violence. Sosa has also responded to community hospitals in the course of Atlantic County to present emotional aid and sources to victims of sexual assault.
“Throughout my profession at AVANZAR, I labored with the employees of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office environment of Victim Witness Advocacy and admired the operate they did with criminal offense victims of Atlantic County,” Sosa reported. “I desired to expand my advocacy work to consist of all victims of crimes who ended up in the Spanish community. It was then, in January 2008, I commenced my vocation as the initially bilingual victim witness advocate at the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Place of work. Becoming a person of 4 Spanish speaking workers customers at ACPO in 2008, I rapidly acquired my ft wet and commenced connecting with the victims, target survivors and witnesses in the Spanish Community.”
As an advocate, Sosa guides victims and victim survivors all over the prison justice procedure, presents circumstance certain information, advocates for the legal rights and requires of the crime victims, connects victims to social expert services businesses to assist with mental wellness counseling and give monetary guidance, and accompanies victims to courtroom proceedings. She gives advocacy services to victims of all crime kinds, like, murder, theft, theft and specially boy or girl victims of sexual and actual physical abuse. She is also a member of the Atlantic County Boy or girl Abuse Multi-Disciplinary Crew. Sosa claimed being a element of the crew and collaborating with a variety of boy or girl abuse specialists assists her in delivering proper and considerably desired companies to additional than 80 Spanish speaking kid victims and their guardians annually.
“My ongoing networking amongst the social provider vendors and legal group, helps me in operating with undocumented immigrant victims of criminal offense in making use of for a U Nonimmigrant Status, U visa. By expanding the aid from a number of agencies to this populace assists them come to feel supported and encourages them to be concerned with the prosecution of their circumstance,” she claimed.
Sosa has also served as the advocate assigned to the Household Court docket Device that prosecutes juvenile offenders and violations of domestic violence restraining order issues. Maria was also assigned to operate with 12 municipal courts to present advocacy to Spanish speaking victims of domestic violence through the court’s day and/or evening sessions.
“The far more that this inhabitants is aware that bilingual advocates exist in the criminal justice method, the more they want to interact with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Business,” Sosa explained. “I was the only bilingual target advocate for 11 a long time. With no bilingual advocates, the Spanish speaking group may not get accessibility or be knowledgeable about solutions to guide and empower them to get well from trauma. Because the Prison Justice Reform in 2017, my conversation with this inhabitants has amplified due to the office environment being associated with warranted domestic violence very simple assault cases. This presents me and ACPO Sufferer Witness Advocate Bella Alameda an possibility to discuss with these victims at situation inception, exactly where they may never be afforded and prospect to interact with a bilingual support service provider.”