We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay Klatt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Representing victims of sexual assault within the parameters of our criminal justice system is often daunting and frustrating. Many days I feel like I’m fighting with someone or for something on behalf of victims; or in the pursuit to maintain a seat at the table and validate my profession. So how do I know whether to keep going or give up? I know to keep going because the struggles victims face and therefore the challenges I face advocating for them continue to remind me of the need for victim advocacy and victim representation. The challenges show me that the work is important and that we still have a long way to go societally and within our systems in the way we treat victims.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a Post-Conviction VIctim Advocate, myself, the agency I work for and my colleague who is in the same role, are piloting a brand new area of victim advocacy. This position is new to the advocacy world and is being done by very few people across the state, and very few states across the country. I have been in this role for over two years now and I’m so proud of the program we’ve built and the work we do. There is a huge need for survivors of sexual assault to be able to have a voice when their offender is placed on probation and in treatment. There’s a need for offenders that have committed sexual violence to continuously have the opportunity to see things from a victim perspective and receive feedback from that lens as they go through supervision and treatment. It is also beneficial and important for the professionals who are supervising and treating people who have committed sexual violence to have a victim representative and advocate that can continually provide this lens and feedback to help ensure their work remains victim centered. The road in creating this role and in navigating the systems we work in is often bumpy, but so important. We still have a long way to go as a society and in state systems to improve the experience of victims and try our hardest to prevent future victims. But victim representation and advocacy in the post-conviction phase is an essential tool we need if we are ever going to reach our goals.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The bonus of many of my favorite spots in Colorado is the ability to bring my four-legged daughter. All of the restaurants, breweries, parks, trails and stores that allow pets are amazing in Colorado; and the list continues to grow. Also, my home state is home to some amazing food and in particular is a leader in offering delicious vegan fare. There are many favorite vegan joints I love (Watercourse Foods, City O City, The Bumbling Bee, Native Foods, ) but there are also many amazing restaurants that offer some bomb vegan dishes even if they also cater to omnivorous patrons. (Root Down, Linger, Alloy Thai, Blue Sushi, Effrains Mexican Restaurant, Voodoo Doughnut) And finally, the nerd in me would be remiss if I didn’t mention the cool places and things to do that Colorado has to explore its history. WE HAD DINOSAURS and we have their prints and bones you can see in places like Dinosaur Ridge and Dinosaur National Monument. Downtown Denver offers awesome historical walking tours (man, we had a lot of brothels) and some really neat bookstores to nerd out (BookBar, Tattered Cover and although a corporate chain- I still love me some Barnes and Noble.)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I found my passion for victim services when I was knee deep into building a career in non-profit development. I started volunteering as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and felt I found my calling. I left the non-profit development world and revamped all of my previous career plans. I was able to make this transition towards doing something I felt was important thanks to the support of my wonderful family. They cheer me on and support all my endeavors. They also let me come to them when I need a good cry or a pick-me-up, Additionally, the first full time position I took in victim advocacy was with The Adams County District Attorney’s office. When I started there, I had a wonderful supervisor and worked with some amazing people. That position got me into the advocacy world and I wouldn’t be here without that experience and the people I met.
Image credit for first photo (headshot) to Becky Klatt