October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). It is a time to remember victims/survivors of abuse and exploitation, to raise awareness of violence and its effect on families and communities, and a time to acknowledge and highlight those working to address ending gender-based violence. “Kay,” “Elle,” and “Emmi” are just a few of those impacted by domestic violence this year.
“Kay” called New Beginnings from the hospital where she was currently being treated for an ankle that was broken from the most recent violent outburst from her abusive ex. With her in the hospital was her 5-year-old child and her 6-week-old baby. She was currently homeless after fleeing and was staying in a hotel with a voucher from a local program. Kay needed safety planning, emotional support, diapers, food, and housing. While working with her advocate she was able to put aside some funding for her to obtain housing, however she really felt that she needed a more holistic form of support and felt more comfortable in a program rather than in housing on her own. Kay’s advocate was able to work with her to get her into a shelter space where she could work with advocates, heal, and work toward becoming more stable before entering into an apartment. She is currently doing very well in this housing program.
Mother Nation had a client that came to them by referral from a mutual aid organization. “Elle” lived up in the Northern part of the state and had been through numerous foster homes throughout her childhood. Growing up in poverty and addiction to substances, she was fleeing domestic violence with an unborn child, and close to her due date. She was sheltered and provided with supportive services throughout her time in Seattle. She was able to engage in a survivors group based on Native American healing practices with Mother Nation and supported in attending all her AA meetings and weekly updates with her Sponsor outside of the agency. Getting all the resources together for Elle was positively uplifting for her because it gave her hope and she immediately became more engaged in parental duties. She even went back to court to get her other three kids out of foster care. Her case manager helped her to get transitional housing while she applied for a housing voucher. She also has strong determination to go back to school to get her GED and her Associate’s degree. Recovering with her kids is now a strong priority to her.
API Chaya was connected with a survivor and her small children who fled violence from another state. “Emmi” was a survivor of domestic violence, and the children were survivors of child sexual assault. They were initially staying at a motel, but advocates were able to assist the family with a Section-8 voucher and found a safe and affordable home. They are currently working and getting ready for their move in. Emmi is also accessing free and confidential therapy services which are helping her overall well-being. With the support of advocacy services, she was able to modify her custody order and she was also granted spousal support. This progress is helping and encouraging her to establish more stability, healing and independence as she moves forward with her life.
The City of Seattle invests in strategies to prevent, intervene, and hold offenders accountable, while promoting healing, services, and community support for more than 10,000 survivors and their families each year by partnering with more than 35 organizations. Mayor Harrell’s 2023-2024 Proposed Budget includes new resources to support survivors of intimate partner violence by increasing victim advocacy staffing and to assess the current gaps in victim support advocacy.
Our providers work in collaboration to provide wrap around services for survivors and their families including advocacy, counseling, therapeutic services, housing/shelter, legal assistance and representation, and systems enhancement. In addition, some also participate in regional coalition building efforts such as Access to Advocacy, Peace in the Home Helpline, Day One, Coordinated Effort Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE), Criminal Justice Committee, and Domestic Violence Prevention Council (DVPC), which convene regularly to assess, identify, plan and address systems needs and gaps, and to ensure that Seattle’s regional response is seamless.
Along with Mayor Bruce Harrell and the City Council’s proclamation of the month, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the following agencies for their partnership and commitment to ending gender-based violence:
- Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services
- ACT & T
- API Chaya
- Asian Counseling and Referral Service
- Atlantic Street Center
- Aurora Commons
- Casa Latina
- Chief Seattle Club
- Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence
- Consejo Counseling and Referral Service
- Domestic Abuse Women’s Network
- Eastside Legal Assistance Program
- Filipino Community of Seattle
- Gender Justice League
- Green Light Project
- Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress
- InterIm CDA
- Jewish Family Service
- King County Sexual Assault Resource Center
- King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
- La Esperanza
- Mother Nation
- New Beginnings
- Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
- Northwest Justice Project
- Northwest Network
- Organization for Prostitution Survivors
- Powerful Voices
- Real Escape from the Sex Trade
- Refugee Women’s Alliance
- The Salvation Army
- Seattle City Attorney’s Office
- Seattle Indian Health Board
- Seattle Municipal Court
- Seattle Police Department
- Solid Ground
- Somali Family Safety Task Force
- WA Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN)
- YWCA King, Pierce, Snohomish
Please click on the image above of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) Acting Director, Tanya Kim, and Safe and Thriving Communities Division Director, Rex Brown, for a video message thanking our partners for their commitment to ending gender-based violence and calling on everyone to help us raise awareness during the month of October. Thanks again for your work, support, and partnership!
During DV Awareness Month, our partners at the Columbia Center Tower, Lumen Field, and The Seattle Great Wheel will be changing their lights to “wear purple” on Thursday, October 20, 2022 for #PugetSoundPurpleThursday.
HSD’s Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the Seattle Office of Labor Standards are inviting everyone to join us to raise awareness of domestic violence NEXT THURSDAY, and share your photo on social media with the hashtags #PurpleThursday and #PugetSoundPurplethursday. Include in your photo a sign stating why you are wearing purple on this day or why this cause has special meaning for you.