The King County Council on Wednesday declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
King County Councilmembers and guests gather with the council's proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Domestic violence can be extremely difficult to escape, prolonging victims’ suffering and impacting others – children and other family members – along the way. Often, outsiders may spot such abuse even before victims understand what’s happening.
It’s with that in mind that the King County Council on Wednesday proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“Domestic violence is a crime that happens all too often, and can completely change the lives of victims, their family, and their community,” said King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “It is a severe issue that must be stopped and I encourage the brave survivors to reach out to local resources for help. I want others to know that they can survive this trauma and find success in life. I am very thankful for the work of organizations that focus on domestic violence here in King County such as LifeWire, DAWN, and New Beginnings.”
Domestic violence and partner abuse can take many forms, but it is often part of a pattern involving physical violence as well as intimidation, coercion and other forms of manipulation. The abuser often “takes over” and controls the partner, using their intimacy as a trap.
Statistically speaking, it impacts a vast swath of society. One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by a partner, and one in three teens has experienced some form of abuse in a relationship and nearly half of dating college women report experiencing violent or abusive relationships.
Studies have found that as many as 10 million children will witness domestic violence each year, and men who witness that abuse as a child are twice as likely to abuse their own partners.
Anyone who has experienced domestic violence can call the following numbers 24/7 to get help: In Seattle, New Beginnings at 206-522-9472; in East King County, LifeWire at 425-746-1940; in south King County, DAWN at 425-656-7867.
Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles: “Domestic violence continues to pervasively affect the psychological, emotional and physical health of millions of people across the country. As the Chair of the King County Board of Health, I’ve stood up a special subcommittee to explore how to apply a public health approach to this problem so that we can end domestic violence in all of its forms and help people transition from victims to survivors.”
Councilmember Claudia Balducci: “Domestic violence affects many in our community who are already marginalized — people of color, immigrants, youth — and it is not limited to heterosexual or cisgender people. I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that domestic violence services are appropriate and inclusive and effectively serve every survivor, no matter their identity or situation.”
David Martin, King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor and Chair of the Domestic Violence Unit: “This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, or as we call it, ‘Take Action Month,’ we are grateful to the King County Council for decades of leadership, support and investment in our region’s response to domestic violence. That support has made a substantial difference in the lives of thousands of victims and their children. We are proud to say that King County is a national leader on domestic violence. Today in King County, there is greater safety for victims and accountability for offenders which has led to fewer deaths and reduction in harm. From specialized domestic violence responses to the efforts to lawfully disarm those most at risk for firearm violence (domestic violence offenders), our region has come far, but there is still much more left to do. We need to move upstream and prevent domestic violence from occurring, especially among young people. King County has made important investments with Best Starts for Kids, but we need to support early domestic violence prevention for ALL kids. We need to envision a path towards zero deaths due to domestic violence. This is possible. King County has reduced domestic violence homicides from 30 per year in 1980 to only seven last year, but we are not there yet. Along with homicides there are still numerous suicides as a result of domestic violence. King County’s leadership role will put us on the path to the goal of zero domestic violence deaths. The loss for every person killed or injured by domestic violence is enormous. There is no acceptable level of serious injury, death or suicide. Domestic violence must end.”
Alicia Glenwell, Policy & Special Projects Manager for the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence: “On behalf of our over 30 member programs who serve survivors of domestic and sexual violence across King County, we thank the King County Council for using their powerful positions in our community to raise awareness and inspire action to end domestic violence. We look forward to working together, today and every day, to continue building safe and just communities where all people can thrive.”