Lawyers, judges, law enforcement, social workers, victim advocates, scholars and experts from around the country will explore the complex problem of domestic violence and potential solutions at “Intersections, Insights & Interventions: Fourth Annual Domestic Violence Symposium,” at Seattle University School of Law on Sept. 6 and 7. For more information see this Web site.
The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department has been awarded a two-year continuation grant from the federal Office of Violence Against Women in the amount of $920,523 for to develop and strengthen responses to violence against women. The Grants to Encourage Arrests Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders (Arrest) Program encourages communities to treat domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking as serious crimes by strengthening the criminal justice response to these crimes and promoting a coordinated community response. Victim safety and offender accountability are the center piece of projects funded by this grant program.
The award will fund the continuation and expansion of the following regional activities:
- Collaboration with Consejo Counseling and Referral Services, Domestic Abuse Women’s Network, Eastside Domestic Violence Program, New Beginnings, and the YWCA in South King County to implement a project to provide access and advocacy for DV victims with limited English proficiency
- Community-based DV advocate co-located with Seattle Police and City Attorney
- Coordination through co-location of a felony prosecutor
- Developing a tool to identify, track more accurately, and better organize work involving high risk domestic violence cases
The Seattle Human Services Department and the King County Housing Authority have announced the opportunity to submit a proposal describing a domestic violence training program designed for housing providers and landlords. The goal of this training program is to ensure safety and improve housing access for victims of domestic violence and their children; and expand their access to existing subsidized or private market housing inventory. A single award of a maximum of $25,000 is available through this Request for Qualifications. The application deadline is Sept. 6, 2011. For more information, please this Web site or contact Tan Mei Teo, Seattle Human Services Department, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-386-1036.
Mayor Mike McGinn today called on Village Voice Media to meet with him and the Seattle Police Department to discuss strengthening their policies against underage sex trafficking in their print and online advertisements. “This is a serious and disturbing issue. We’ve received a growing number of reports that Backpage.com is being used to exploit children,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “It’s just wrong. We’re asking them and other sites to meet with us to find ways to protect children from exploitation and help keep our communities safe.” The Seattle Police Department has identified the use of the adult services section of Backpage.com as a contributor to the problem of child exploitation. Specifically, they are an “accelerant” of underage sex trafficking. The problem exists in both the print and online version of the Backpage.com service. Underage sex trafficking is a growing problem in Seattle and around the country. A 2008 report from the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department estimated 300-500 children under the age of 18 are being exploited for commercial sex in Seattle and King County. Children as young as twelve have been exploited and runaways are particularly vulnerable. The report noted that the internet has been increasingly used for sexual exploitation. For the full text of the news release click here.
Beginning on March 1, 2011, the Seattle Human Services Department will realign its operations to better meet the needs of constituents and the community. The work of former divisions including Youth Development & Achievement, Early Learning & Family Support, and Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Prevention will be restructured to become two divisions: the Community Support & Self-Sufficiency Division and Youth & Family Empowerment Division. The Community Support & Self-Sufficiency Division will encompass all of HSD’s programs that assist individuals and families as they work toward self-sufficiency. The Youth & Family Empowerment Division will take a more holistic approach to providing services from early childhood to young adulthood, including paths to post-secondary training – college, vocational training, apprenticeships into skilled trades, or other employment. For more details about these and other changes please read this special edition of Life Lines newsletter.
Seattle PostGlobe reporter Eric Ruthford recently reserached, wrote and posted a remarkable series of articles on the issue of prostituted youth in Seattle.
For a link to the first article, please click here. This piece has links to all the other articles in the series. For more information on Seattle’s response to this growing concern, please visit this Web site.
The Seattle Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations, recently launched a new Web site, the Giving Center. The site provides information for prospective donors on 675 nonprofits doing a wide range of work. Financial and evaluation information is included for each organization described. Launch of the site was covered in the Seattle Times and New York Times.
Pimps and the youth they abuse are well-known elements of juvenile prostitution. In their guest column for the Seattle Times, Terri Kimball with the Seattle Human Services Department and King County Senior Dep. Prosecutor Sean P. O’Donnell note a new Washington law that cracks down on the overlooked role of “Johns” involved in the commercial sex abuse of minors.
For the latest news and information about the Seattle Human Services Department, see the June 2010 edition Life Lines e-newsletter: http://www.seattle.gov/humanservices/lifelines/archives.htm.
The Seattle Human Services Department has published (online) its 2009 Annual Report. The report provides a snapshot summary of the department’s accomplishments and outcomes in 2009 in data, photographs, and inspiring stories of people who have turned their lives around with the help of City-funded programs.