This morning, we published the Seattle Police report about a woman beaten in West Seattle and the arrest of her boyfriend. The SPD information included a mention that domestic violence calls are up 21 percent in the past month citywide. Following up on that, here’s a message from SPD’s Victim Support Team:
1) Home is not safe for everyone. While national and local leaders have encouraged us to stay home to stop the spread of the pandemic, we also know that staying home may not be safe for many adults and children experiencing domestic violence. Community resources may be harder to access, and existing anxiety and fear will be compounded by this new global crisis.
2) Domestic violence thrives behind closed doors. Social distancing can magnify the feelings of isolation that domestic violence survivors may already be experiencing. This is an important time to encourage friends, family and neighbors to reach out and support each other in new and creative ways. Reaching out to let someone know they are not alone, can be incredibly helpful to break isolation.
3) Help is available. The Seattle Police Department is working alongside local community and national partners to ensure victims have access to the support they need to keep their families safe. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence in your relationship, please call the The National Domestic Violence Hotline, (24 hours everyday), 800-799-7233 or 800-787-3224 (TTY).
4) Call if you can, text if you can’t. When attempting to call 911, an already dangerous situation can intensify if an abusive partner tries to interfere with the call, or the violence escalates. The King County Text-to-911 technology offers survivors of domestic violence an added resource when they are unable to call for help. People who use this service must remember to text their exact location and type of assistance they need in their first message, so the call taker can begin to dispatch law enforcement response immediately.