If you have just been assaulted or are in immediate danger, CALL 911.
Otherwise, you may call a 24-hour “help line” in Seattle at 206-522-9472.
The City of Seattle offers this website with resources for community-based victim services: http://www.seattle.gov/law/domestic_violence/community_resources.htm.
The King County Coalition also provides a lot of information about community services at: http://www.kccadv.org/get-help/support-services
Please also be VERY CAREFUL TO DELETE ANY SEARCH HISTORY ON YOUR COMPUTER. Most abusers will “monitor behavior” in ways that you may never anticipate.
TAG is an educational organization and we do NOT provide direct services to victims of domestic violence. But we believe that EVERYONE should be safe, especially at home. Please know that the ONLY one to “blame” for abuse is the abuser!
Understand that a 911 call can set things in motion that will be beyond your control. For example, if an arrest is made the court will impose a short-term “no contact order” whether you want one or not. NEVERTHELESS, Seattle Police Department officers are trained about DV and you can also ask the responding officer to put you in touch with the SPD Victim Support Team. These highly trained and very compassionate VOLUNTEERS have a tremendous amount of resources available to help you. The King County Sheriff’s Department also trains their deputies about DV. If you are in another area, 911 is still the very best option if you have been or are about to be assaulted.
If you have been abused and do not know what to do, or who to ask for support – do your best to find a trained DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVOCATE in your area. They have been specifically trained to support DV victims. They will NOT judge your or tell you what you “should” do – they will NOT pressure you to leave the relationship – but they will emphasize that you “should” be SAFE and try to help you explore your options. Once again, EVERYONE should be SAFE.
Most DV Victim Support Agencies have advocates available and “help lines” (many are 24/7) or “crisis lines.” They can offer you safety planning, even if you want to stay in the relationship. Many agencies offer some short-term confidential shelter services (although funding and space is limited) and support groups. Some even provide long-term transitional housing. These agencies can also give you information about other community resources such as legal, financial and counseling services, etc. Most operate within a specific area, but they have information about agencies and advocates in other areas of Washington or across the country.
If you have decided to leave the relationship, please be AWARE that separation is the most dangerous time for any victim. Domestic violence is about control. If an abuser feels like they are “losing control” they can turn into “monsters” like even you may have never seen before. Make a plan. Be careful. For example, we would never recommend that a victim threaten to leave the relationship in the middle of an argument. You can also call your local police department and ask if they will provide a “civil stand by” where officers will be there to “stand by” while you gather a few essentials. Remember, they will not be able to hang around while you “pack.”
You probably feel ALL ALONE. Isolation is one of the primary weapons an abuser will use against a victim. If you can reach out safely to ANYONE (friend or family member) please do not let guilt or shame stop you. TAG members have all found themselves at the bottom of the “Hole of Shame,” but we were also shocked and amazed that when we reached up for help there were, in fact, people out there who would not try to push us down even deeper. If you are literally isolated, then there are lots of people in our community who understand and will do whatever they can to support you. PLEASE REACH OUT FOR HELP!