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Published on April 02, 2024
Seattle Human Services Department Spotlights Advocate's Role in Fight Against Sexual AssaultSource: Human Services Department

Seattle's Human Services Department (HSD) is shining a spotlight on an employee who's playing a key role in the city's fight against sexual assault. Dyllyn Werthan, a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate within the Crime Survivor Services Unit, has taken on the frontline battle to extend a helping hand to those in need. The HSD's latest blog post provides insight into the advocate's motivations and the evolving nature of her work.

Werthan's personal history with gender-based violence drove her to seek out a career in human services. "I have known since I was a teenager that I wanted a career working with and empowering people," she said in a statement obtained by Seattle's HSD blog. Her aspirations to actively contribute to societal change took a definitive shape when she realized she could be part of the solution as a victim advocate.

In the realm of her professional journey, Werthan's role has undergone significant change recently. She's transitioned to the newly established position of Pre-Filing Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, a role unique to the city that commenced in 2023. Diverging from the roles of her peers, Werthan's job focuses mainly on the preliminary stages of law enforcement investigations, thus freeing her to dedicate more time and resources to groundbreaking projects.

One such initiative is the "Seek Then Speak" program, an innovative reporting tool being utilized by the Seattle Police to assist survivors in reporting sexual assault crimes. Werthan's involvement is set to deeply impact the way cases are approached and to ultimately to provide survivors with a stronger support system. "This difference in my duties allows me the time and flexibility to focus on providing direct service to special projects such as Seek Then Speak," she told the HSD blog, highlighting the importance of specialized roles in victim support services.