The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) and its Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (MODVSA) are pleased to announce the results of the comprehensive Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Survivor Services RFP. The results informed the investment of approximately $10,908,306 in HSD General Fund dollars towards 25 providers providing services under the umbrella of GBV which includes domestic violence (DV), sexual assault (SA), and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE).
“Effective public safety requires a commitment to justice that centers survivors of gender-based violence – providing tailored, time-sensitive support and understanding their experiences to improve our response and preventative work,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “This significant investment in survivor services will support organizations who are best equipped to deliver care and assistance to the individual needs of survivors and victims. Working with advocates, law enforcement, and community leaders, our work to prevent and root out this kind of appalling violence, support survivors, and hold offenders accountable must continue undeterred.”
“Because of the increased need, Council has worked through the pandemic, as well as coming out of it, to increase funds for these life-saving and sustaining services,” said District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Chair of the Public Safety & Human Services Committee. “Gender-based violence survivors often experience barriers that prevent them from getting help, whether it’s the lack of safe housing, the stigma, or the need to care for dependents. These are all factors, for those living below the poverty line, that can result in a more economically precarious situation.”
This investment will strengthen a diverse network of providers that offer survivor services from prevention to emergency response. Service strategies covered in this RFP included Mobile Flexible Advocacy, Shelter and Housing, Therapeutic Services, Civil Legal Aid, and Specialized Services for Marginalized Populations.
“I am pleased that the Gender-Based Violence Survivor Services Awards will invest in 25 diverse providers. I believe that no matter who the survivor is or what their needs are, each survivor should be able to seek assistance from an organization that best serves their needs,” said HSD Acting Director Tanya Kim. “GBV is preventable, and as #OneSeattle, we will work together to call out and put an end to violence.”
HSD received 29 original agency applications that were deemed eligible for review by MODVSA staff, encompassing 53 distinct strategy proposals requesting more than 150% of the available funds. Each agency application was rated individually, then collectively by five specific strategy proposal review panels. The 17-member Review Committee represented a diverse range of ages, genders, ethnicities, and lived experience. Members included staff from HSD, other City and County departments, volunteers with groups advocating on behalf of survivors and these services, as well as staff and leaders from community-based organizations not seeking funding from this process. All were invited to a final meeting to discuss and provide recommendations for any final adjustments, including departmental efforts to address gaps in services for specialized populations as flagged by the Review Committee.
Congratulations to the following agencies awarded funding through this RFP:
- API Chaya
- Aurora Commons
- Chief Seattle Club
- Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN)
- Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP)
- Filipino Community of Seattle
- Harborview Medical-Abuse and Trauma Center (HATC)
- Interim CDA
- Jewish Family Services (JFS)
- King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC)
- LCYC – Legal Services for Youth
- Mother Nation
- New Beginnings
- Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
- Northwest Justice Project (NJP)
- Organization for Prostitution Survivors
- Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST)
- Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA)
- Salvation Army
- Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB)
- Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)
- Solid Ground
- Somali Family Safety Task Force (SFSTF)
As part of a citywide effort to support survivors of sexual assault and hold offenders accountable, Mayor Harrell recently appointed the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Sexual Assault and System Reform. This summer, Mayor Harrell and SPD Chief Adrian Diaz issued Executive Order 2022-05 to comprehensively identify and address systemic issues in the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) response to sexual assault crimes. SPD has since restored the Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) to eight detectives, partnered with experts at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission to conduct reviews of past sexual assault cases, and begun a broad review of issues throughout the criminal legal system. The Mayor’s Office and SPD also continue to closely collaborate with advocates to create a robust system of community-based victim support resources.