Illya Engle joined the WCA team in September 2017. As a Victim Advocate, Illya assists clients with civil protection orders, helps connect them with other legal resources, and provides individualized safety planning. Recently, the Victim Advocates have begun training on family law processes, so they can also provide divorce and custody process information.
Prior to working at the WCA, Illya was in the Air Force for 13 years. In 2014, she completed the DOD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program and was a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate until she left the Air Force in 2017.
Illya understands that trying to work through the legal system alone can be overwhelming, especially if the abusive person is also trying to use the legal system against his or her victim. “It means so much to me that I get to be there to help,” Illya says, “whether it’s empowering someone to find safety by providing some useful information or just being there as a calm and supportive presence.”
Of her time at the WCA, Illya says: “I’ve never been surrounded by this many smart, dedicated, empathetic professionals before. It’s a beautiful thing to come and work in a building full of people who are all working to help others and ultimately make our community a better place – and are doing a great job of it. It’s really inspiring. I feel like there’s so much I can learn from the other staff here that makes this job such a wonderful opportunity.”
While there have been many memorable moments for Illya that she has experienced at the WCA, a recent story comes to her mind: “There was a client who we’d seen in court multiple times over the last few months – she was just trying to get safety for herself and her children, but she faced so many obstacles to this. The last time we saw her in court, she finally received the legal protection that she needed for both herself and her children. The relief she felt when she heard the final decision was practically palpable throughout the courtroom. It was a great moment.”
The WCA is grateful to have Illya on board!
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