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Standing alongside community members, public health professionals, and service providers, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced the City of Seattle’s new efforts to raise awareness regarding fentanyl and counterfeit pills. The City of Seattle, in partnership with community-based organizations, will convene a series of 25 naloxone trainings to distribute 700 City-purchased naloxone kits. Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a nasal spray that can be used to reverse an opioid-involved overdose. Investment in and distribution of naloxone kits is an overdose reversal medication that has been endorsed by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Medical Association.

Talking About Human Trafficking

Consider what you’ve been told about Human Trafficking. Consider how it has been portrayed in movies, television, or even some awareness campaigns. Have you seen pictures of slender wrists in handcuffs? Have you seen movies about a middle-class, adolescent female vacationing abroad when she is suddenly taken? Consider how rarely you see discussion of the invisible and coercive forces of poverty, psychological control, and isolation. The majority of trafficking situations involve such non-physical restraints, and as we enter the new year, and January’s observance of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, it is time to talk about that. The Seattle Human Services Department’s Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (MODVSA) is partnering with the Washington Advisory Committee on Trafficking (WashACT) to host a program and panel discussion including survivors, activists, and representatives from our criminal justice response to help expand the conversation around human trafficking in the City of Seattle. This event will be hosted on January 10th from 8:30am-11:00am in the Bertha Knight Landes room in Seattle City Hall.

What we’re reading: System that apportions homeless housing is limiting access for people of color

Building Changes is calling on communities across the country to reconsider use of the VI-SPDAT, a widely used Coordinated Entry standardized assessment tool that helps determine who gets prioritized for housing referrals. A new study, funded by Building Changes, finds that use of the VI-SPDAT unfairly favors white people over people of color, thereby perpetuating racial inequities within the homeless system. Building Changes believes strongly that communities have an obligation to address inequities that negatively impact the efforts of people of color to transition successfully out of homelessness and into stable housing, including any barriers that restrict their access to services.

City-Supported Researchers Release Report on Increasing Use of Technology in Domestic Violence

I started working as an Advocate supporting survivors of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking in 2007. In my first year of advocacy, I interacted with survivors whose abusers were using technology against them. This looked like sending intimate images to their workplaces, creating fake Craigslist ads with rape fantasies, or simply just repeated and unwanted contacts via many platforms. When I was approached by Dana Lockhart of SPD’s Victim Support Team in 2016 to start doing more work on this space in our community, not enough had changed. I felt I still wasn’t giving survivors sufficient solutions to what we now call Tech-Enabled Coercive Control (TECC). Dana began organizing the Tech-Enabled Coercive Control (TECC) Working Group; and we partnered with community-agencies, the University of Washington, and other City of Seattle departments to start digging into what we could do.