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Councilmembers draw attention to domestic violence prevention


Remembering lives lost, encouraging survivors


The Metropolitan King County Council proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in King County, with a proclamation presented before the Council today.

Councilmembers Kathy Lambert and Julia Patterson jointly outlined the serious affects of domestic violence on women and families. They also recognized the work of partners in law enforcement and community service providers who help the victims of domestic violence.

“Here in King County, our community suffered several tragic murders of women and men by their family members earlier this year,” said Councilmember Lambert, who chairs the Law and Justice Committee and is herself a survivor of domestic violence in her previous marriage. “It is important to remember the lives of these women and men, and also to encourage survivors as well as raising awareness about the continuing threat of domestic violence. I want others to know that they can survive this trauma and find success in life.”

The proclamation recognizes the domestic violence deaths of five women and one man in King County during the past year, as well as the death of King County Corrections Officer Barbara Jo Hawkins and her adult daughter, Bretta Joan Hawkins, earlier this year in Pierce County.

“The effects of abuse are devastating and far-reaching, especially for those who have lost a loved one as a result,” said Councilmember Patterson, who chairs the King County Board of Health. “It is important that we raise awareness on all fronts, as domestic violence speaks many languages, has many colors, and lives in many of our communities.”

Three years ago, the Board of Health recognized this serious issue and took action to help protect the health of all women by passing a resolution calling for health care providers to screen patients routinely for domestic violence.

A South King County rally on Oct. 2 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent honored the community agencies dedicated to ending domestic violence, and a joint King County and City of Seattle reception on Oct. 13 will recognize the ongoing work of many agencies to address the affects of domestic violence.

Research shows that up to 40 percent of women experience some kind of domestic abuse during their lives, and up to 70 percent of children who witness domestic violence also are victims of abuse or become batterers.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was established in October of 1987 to create a community dialogue about violence, to advocate for legislation and law enforcement to protect victims, and to encourage awareness and action against abuse.

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