Giving My Education Away: Criminal Prosecution in Cases of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

(Boston, MA, 03/19/14) Staff Photo by Nancy Lane

To a certain extent, nothing could have prepared me for the people I would encounter and the stories I would hear within my first two weeks in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. During my interview for the position, my supervisor said, “it takes a certain type of person to work here,” and he could not have been more right. On the 9th floor, phrases such as “rape,” “human trafficking,” and “murder” replace the small talk that usually fills summer office intern conversations. Our workdays are set between the office and the Suffolk County Superior Court (pictured above), as we are able to take part in both the legal work behind the scenes of criminal prosecution and consequent court proceedings and verdict.

When I am not in the office, I am full of energy and welcoming the incoming class as a BC Orientation Leader. I hear at the beginning of each week about the Jesuit values of giving your education away and making a difference in the world – being men and women for others. After each orientation session, I am more and more motivated to hop on the B line and go into downtown Boston to do just that. This is the first, and arguably most important, skill that I have gained through my Boston College education that I have applied in this internship from the start: a passion to do good, and to fight for those whose life experiences have not been as fortunate as mine.

Apart from “setting the world aflame,” BC has always taught me to find my own edge in my identity. For me, that is the Spanish language and culture. My Hispanic studies minor and skills in the language have allowed me to go above and beyond, helping to translate jail calls and grand jury testimonies into English and provide a new level of communication in the office.

Written by Erin Nunes, BC Class of 2017