Latina outreach coordinator listens closely — and offers key help to Spanish-speaking residents | CraigDailyPress.com

Latina outreach coordinator listens closely — and offers key help to Spanish-speaking residents

Patricia Maradiegue de Wagner offers understanding and resources to people who have experienced sexual assault and domestic violence

Michael Neary

When Patricia Maradiegue de Wagner talks with clients, she's often working with someone who's experienced something emotionally painful — and who may not be ready to open up.

"I try to listen," said Maradiegue de Wagner, the Latina outreach coordinator for Advocates-Crisis Support Services. "This way I can find what they need."

Maradiegue de Wagner is in her ninth year in the position, and she's worked with other organizations — including the Moffat County School District and the Boys & Girls Club of Craig — in jobs that help to reach Spanish-speaking residents who may find themselves up against a language barrier, and who may not always feel listened to.

A message from Patricia Maradiegue de Wagner:

Ofrecemos servicios gratuitos y confidenciales para las víctimas de violencia intrafamiliar y de abuso sexual de la comunidad inmigrante y de no habla inglesa, apoyo biocultural, bilingüe, línea de crisis las 24 horas, albergue de emergencia. No discriminamos edad, raza, religión, discapacidad u orientación sexual, servicios de inmigración con las Visas U, T y VAWA. Y mucho más recursos y servicios.

"EL COMPORTAMIENTO ABUSIVO SE ESCOJE"

As the Latina outreach coordinator, Maradiegue de Wagner works with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. But she also helps people to find other resources in the community.

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"Patty has such a fabulous reputation in the Hispanic community in this area that a lot of the referrals come from other people that she's helped," said Jill Shade, executive director of Advocates-Crisis Support Services. "Many of the women she helps share with their friends or family members when they've gotten some wonderful service from Patty, and so they may put them in touch with Patty."

Shade said the agency provided direct services to 72 Latino clients last year. Those services include things such as helping out with safe shelter, court accompaniment, interaction with the Department of Social Services and referrals for legal, housing and immigration issues.

Shade said Maradiegue de Wagner's facility with Spanish helps to reach, in a practical way, people who don't speak very much English. But Shade said the help ranges beyond the practical.

"Even if they have some English abilities, it's just so much more comfortable for them to be able to speak to someone who speaks their first language and provide them with the support they need at that really crucial time," Shade said.

As the Latina outreach coordinator, Maradiegue de Wagner works with victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. But she also helps people to find other resources in the community.

"Patty (Maradiegue de Wagner) has such a fabulous reputation in the Hispanic community in this area that a lot of the referrals come from other people that she's helped," said Jill Shade, executive director of Advocates-Crisis Support Services. "Many of the women she helps share with their friends or family members when they've gotten some wonderful service from Patty, and so they may put them in touch with Patty."

Shade said the agency provided direct services to 72 Latino clients last year. Those services include things such as helping out with safe shelter, court accompaniment, interaction with the Department of Social Services and referrals for legal, housing and immigration issues.

Shade said Maradiegue de Wagner's facility with Spanish helps to reach, in a practical way, people who don't speak much English. But Shade said the help ranges beyond the practical.

"Even if they have some English abilities, it's just so much more comfortable for them to be able to speak to someone who speaks their first language and provide them with the support they need at that really crucial time," Shade said.

Maradiegue de Wagner, who's from Peru, has earned an associate's degree in liberal arts and is working online for a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.

She said domestic violence can take a number of forms, and she noted recent immigrants may be especially vulnerable. She helps immigrants receive assistance through the Violence Against Women Act and the U-VISA program.

"We have help, and everything is confidential," Maradiegue de Wagner said. "The abuser is not going to know that the person is receiving help."

She noted, too, the importance of letting people know they are not alone.

"They are looking for somebody that they can talk to, and (who will) listen to them," she said. "We can try to give information that they are not alone and we are here for them."

Maradiegue de Wagner's daughter, Maria Alejandra Ledesma Maradiegue, has followed her mother's lead in reaching out to people. Alejandra was named the Northwest Colorado Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of America in 2008, and she's now victim/witness coordinator in the Moffat County District Attorney's Office.

Maradiegue de Wagner said she plans, ultimately, to become a doctor.

"I had a very understanding mother who accepted (our) differences," she said, but she also acknowledged a connection between their career paths.

People seeking help from Advocates-Crisis Support Services may call 970-824-9709 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and they can also call the organization's hotline, 24 hours per day, at 970-824-2400.

A message from Patricia Maradiegue de Wagner:

Ofrecemos servicios gratuitos y confidenciales para las víctimas de violencia intrafamiliar y de abuso sexual de la comunidad inmigrante y de no habla inglesa, apoyo biocultural, bilingüe, línea de crisis las 24 horas, albergue de emergencia. No discriminamos edad, raza, religión, discapacidad u orientación sexual, servicios de inmigración con las Visas U, T y VAWA. Y mucho más recursos y servicios.

“EL COMPORTAMIENTO ABUSIVO SE ESCOJE”