Trese began working as a legal secretary in 1984 at Perkins Coie – only 3 weeks after she literally ran for her life from Tennessee to Seattle because her abusive husband would “never let her go.” She subsequently filed for divorce, petitioned the court for a protective order, and began to rebuild her life.
Decades later, Trese’s 20-year-old daughter was in a 4-month long abusive relationship. That was when Trese decided to “take action” …
New Beginnings. In 2004, Trese became a volunteer at New Beginnings (one of Seattle’s oldest domestic violence victim support agencies). Trese completed 40 hours of training in order to volunteer at its confidential emergency shelter. She organized clothes donations, cleaned rooms, answered the 24-hour help line and met with residents to draft resumes and cover letters. She also volunteered at the New Beginnings Legal Clinic co-sponsored by the King County Bar Association, and served as an associate member of the New Beginnings Board of Directors’ Public Affairs/Social Change Committee.
Seattle Police Department. In 2005, Trese became a volunteer with the Seattle Police Department Victim Support Team (VST) which provides safety planning, transportation services and community resource information to domestic violence crime victims. This involved another 50 hours of specialized training. VST volunteers are called to domestic violence scenes (or to a safe location) to meet with victims immediately following a DV arrest. The VST Unit works closely with responding SPD officers and assists SPD’s response to DV victims “on the street.” Trese was certified as a VST Volunteer Field Trainer in 2006, and provided training at the VST Volunteer Academy both as an individual and as member of TAG. The Chief of Police and Seattle Mayor presented Trese with the VST Award for Community Involvement in 2009. She also served for 2 years as a civilian member of the SPD Oral Board to interview SPD officer candidates.
Trese served on the Leadership Council of the WSCADV Survivor’s Caucus for three years, and she has shared her story at several conferences, training programs, and other events (e.g., the WA State Senate Judiciary Committee, WSCADV Survivors Days in both Olympia and Seattle, a documentary produced by the Seattle Channel, etc.). In 2006, Trese received the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence “Take Action Award,” and in 2007 she was privileged to nominate and present the KCCADV Take Action Award to the Seattle City Council for its commitment to increase funding for domestic violence legal advocates.
As one of the founding members of the Thrivers Action Group, Trese has been extremely active and participates on behalf of TAG as a member of the Washington State Attorney General’s Domestic Violence Advisory Group, and the Domestic Violence Initiative co-sponsored by KCCADV and the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
Fortunately, Trese and her daughter are safe and happy today. Trese is a paralegal at Fallon & McKinley PLLC. She was the Litigation Assistant to the Family Law Group at K&L Gates LLP before Mabry C. De Buys tragically passed away in 2011. Ms. De Buys was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers who represented high net-worth clients in complex dissolution actions. Too often, her cases involved domestic violence – and even Ms. De Buys was threatened – proving again that intimate partner violence exists in every neighborhood and impacts friends, family members, co-workers …
Trese joined TAG because its mission gives her the opportunity and privilege to
… plant the seeds of social awareness one truth at a time and inspire communities to prevent domestic violence.