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Posts tagged with Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Human Interests

Safe and Thriving Communities Division Hires Its First Division Director

HSD is excited to welcome Rex Brown, who has been hired as the first director of the new Safe and Thriving Communities Division! This is a very exciting moment for the communities we serve, and Rex looks forward to meeting department staff and our community partners in the weeks ahead…. [ Keep reading ]

Seattle Human Services Department Continues to Build Up Safe and Thriving Communities Division

New Crime Survivor Services Unit and Job Posting for Division Director As the City of Seattle continues to reimagine public safety, the Safe and Thriving Communities Division is a new division in the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) that consolidates previous and planned City of Seattle community safety investments into… [ Keep reading ]

What a Year! Thank you.

As 2020 comes to a close, I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and as well as one can be in what has surely been one of the more challenging years we have faced as a department. Back in January, we already knew that “change” would be a theme this year. One of the city’s top priorities for the year was to help stand-up and launch the new King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA). For HSD, this included transitioning our Homeless Strategy and Investment division staff and contracts to a co-location space with their County peers, followed by CEO on-boarding and development of a staffing plan. While that work has been underway all year, little did we know at the start of 2020 that a global pandemic like nothing seen in at least a century was already underway. Not only did that slow the progress of this work, it lead to most employees shifting to work from home, being reassigned, and changing work plans. Plus significant impacts to our economy and unimaginable changes to how each of us conduct our daily lives. With homelessness response transitioning to the KCRHA, our department planned to spend much of the year redefining how it exists within the human services space. HSD planned to work with staff, service providers, and clients to co-create a roadmap for the future. This work launched in February – during Black History Month – with an understanding that race and social justice should underpin everything that we were going to talk about. The public health crisis forced us to pause that work almost immediately. Little did we know the paradigm shift coming in the summer as the support for Black Lives Matter took on new meaning for our general society and millions more people “awoke” to the understanding that it’s time to rethink how we spend our tax dollars and how our governments respond to the needs of the community. HSD staff and our community partners have been a part of the front-line response to COVID-19, pivoting programs and rising to the many challenges to help those most in need. I am deeply proud of the work we have accomplished together during this crisis. Our mission “to connect people with resources and solutions during times of need so we can all live, learn, work, and take part in strong, healthy communities” took on a much greater sense of urgency in 2020, even as we managed our ongoing work.

#DVAM Purple Pumpkins

October may be coming to a close, but the Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault works to raise awareness all year long.


Will YOU join us in raising awareness about domestic violence by participating in #PugetSoundPurpleThursday? 💜 Wear purple, change your background, or share a personal story if you’re comfortable and post with the hashtag above and #PurpleThursday2020 or #DVAM2020.

Why Do We Recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

The Human Services Department (HSD) and the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) recently recognized the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month; a time to remember victims and survivors of abuse and exploitation; to raise awareness about violence and its effect on families and communities; and to acknowledge and highlight those working to end gender-based violence. 

Thanking Our Partners for Their Commitment to Ending Gender-Based Violence

“Maria” and her young daughter escaped a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. She received assistance from a DV Housing Program while suffering from broken ribs and other injuries caused by her abuser. The individual apartment provided to Maria and her daughter allowed her the time and space to heal from her physical injuries. She was connected to an Advocate who provided emotional and practical support. Once Maria healed enough to focus on next steps, the Advocate supported her in obtaining legal assistance with issues resulting from the abuse, and addressed challenges which impacted her options for more stable housing. Maria received advocacy to help facilitate payment of past housing debt and resolved past legal issues that were barriers to her being housed. She and her daughter participated fully in many of the programs and activities offered by the DV Program, and her family connected with other families who had also experienced similar trauma. Maria and her daughter recently moved into their own apartment, located in an area of town close by social services and programming that she is working with. As Maria moved out from the Housing Program, she expressed her gratitude and said that she was “grateful for the non-judgmental acceptance and support,” and vowed to “help other survivors in the future in whatever path she takes.” Maria continues to receive support from the DV Housing Program in the form of mobile advocacy, client assistance, and rental assistance. With support from the agency, Maria and her daughter are able to find peace, happiness, and new life free from violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is a time to remember victims/survivors of abuse and exploitation, to raise awareness of violence and its effects on families and communities, and a time to acknowledge and highlight those working to end gender-based violence. This year has been an especially challenging one. While agencies and programs quickly pivoted in response to COVID-19, we have witnessed a rise in reported incidents of gender-based violence and related fatalities both locally and nationally due to social distancing, economic deprivation and related conditions. Those most impacted prior to COVID and during COVID are overwhelmingly marginalized populations: communities of color, GBLTIQ, immigrants and refugees, and those living with disabilities. Maria and her daughter are one of more than 6,000 individuals/families assisted thus far in 2020 by the Seattle-funded network of providers. Our providers work in collaboration to provide wrap around services, including advocacy, counseling, therapeutic services, housing/shelter, legal assistance and representation, and systems improvement. With the “no wrong door” approach, our funded network mirrors the diversity in client population of Seattle-King County in providers and service options. Victim service agencies also participate on committees alongside system partners to assess, identify, plan and address systems needs and gaps, and to ensure that Seattle’s response is seamless. Such committees include: Access to Advocacy, Immigrant and Refugee Network, Peace in the Home, Day One, Coordinated Effort Against Sexual Exploitation (CEASE), Criminal Justice Committee, Domestic Violence Prevention Council (DVPC), and Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP).

City of Seattle Recognizes October as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” to Raise Awareness and Support for Victims and Survivors of Abuse

The Office of Labor Standards (OLS) and the Human Services Department (HSD) mark the month of October as a time to remember victims and survivors of abuse and exploitation; to raise awareness about violence and its effect on families and communities; and acknowledge and highlight those working to end gender-based violence.  “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in domestic violence reports, as we have had to separate from our families and friends to stop the spread of this deadly pandemic. While physical distancing can keep communities safe from the virus, it has also kept domestic violence survivors shut in with their offenders,” said Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “We can still be a lifeline during this unprecedented time, remember to check in on your neighbors who may be suffering abuse in silence. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we help those who may be suffering by raising our voices and awareness.”

City of Seattle Proclaims January as “Human Trafficking Awareness Month” to Encourage Public Awareness and Action Against Human Trafficking

For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Taylor-Judd, Public Relations Specialist, External Affairs, City of Seattle Human Services Department, 206-256-5225, Seattle – (January 2, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan proclaimed the month of January as “Human Trafficking Awareness Month,” and January 10, 2020 to be “Human Trafficking Awareness Day” to proclaim… [ Keep reading ]

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.