Family Protection and Sexual Assault Bureau was honored recently for service above and beyond the call of duty to
the people of East Boston and Winthrop.
Vanessa Vicente received the Suffolk Award for Outstanding District Court Victim Witness Advocate at a June 13 ceremony held at Suffolk University Law School. Vicente was nominated for the annual award by her colleagues – including her former supervisor at East Boston Municipal Court, who introduced her.
“No matter who the victim or survivor might be, no matter where they might be from, Vanessa made them feel safe, respected, and comfortable at some of the toughest times of their lives,” Assistant District Attorney Caroline Humphrey said. “I’m so proud to see that she’s taken that care and compassion from our neighborhood courthouse to help children and families from across the county.”
“Victim advocacy is the heart and soul of our work,” Conley said. “Vanessa embraced that mission in East Boston court and now uses her skills to serve the most vulnerable victims we see. These cases very often can’t go forward without the victims and loving family members, and Vanessa is absolutely critical to building the relationships that help them feel supported in court.”
Vicente came to the Suffolk DA’s office in 2016, taking a position as a victim advocate in East Boston court, and handling cases that ranged from property crimes to serious assaults in that neighborhood and the nearby town of Winthrop. She was a fixture at community events from the Game Change partnership against domestic violence to the DA’s annual Basketball and Soccer for Peace tournaments to the Casa Myrna Communities of Conscience Breakfast and other gatherings.
In April of this year, she was promoted to the DA’s Family Protection and Sexual Assault Bureau, where she works with the victims of sexual violence, domestic abuse, and child abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
“This is some of the most important work in the criminal justice system,” Conley said. “I’m so grateful that we have Vanessa to help us do it.”