Deschutes County victim advocate receives award

BEND, Ore. - The Oregon District Attorneys’ Association selected Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office Victim Advocate Debbi Wise as the Oregon Victim Advocate of the Year.  The award was presented last week in Seaside at ODAA’s annual conference.

ODAA is a non-profit association comprised of Oregon’s 36 district attorneys and the members of their staffs, Oregon’s assistant attorneys general, and the assistant U.S. Attorneys serving in Oregon.

Debbi has been a victim advocate for over 20 years.  Her work focuses on assisting victims of child abuse and neglect.  For every victim of these awful crimes, there is at least one parent or caregiver who also needs Debbi’s help - and help she does. 

Debbi regularly works with families divided by divorce, with kids in and out of foster care, and with parents who disagree with their children regarding procedural matters in their child’s court case.  Debbi navigates these challenges with ease and takes the time to connect with everyone she speaks to.

At a recent ceremony to honor Debbi, a former crime victim that Debbi helped was a guest speaker. She talked in detail about how Debbi had impacted her life. She explained that because of Debbi, she was a victim no more - she was a survivor who was moving past her abuse. She had graduated high school and was enrolled full time in college. Her goal? She wants to be a victim advocate, just like Debbi.

“The residents of Deschutes County should treasure Debbi Wise,” said Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel.  “Having Debbi on our team ensures that, as awful and painful as it is to be a victim of a crime, if you are victimized in our county, you will not walk alone.  I’m proud of Debbi for winning this award and commend ODAA for selecting her.”

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