Sexual Assault in Seattle: Today's Trends
Last month's topic was on the rates and aftermath of sexual assault. In that article I noted that nationwide the overall the rate of assault has gone down.
But how about in Seattle?
Has violence against women in the Seattle area increased or decreased, are women are really getting the support and resources we need, and what we can do to help end the violence? The Seattle Chapter of the National Organization for Women hosted a panel on the reality of violence against women in our area on Thursday, May 24. The two featured speakers--Lindsay Palmer, Director of Education at the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, and Merril Cousin, Executive Director of the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence--are long-time activists and experts in sexual assault and domestic violence. I know both as incredibly intelligent and dedicated women, and counted on them to know the best info on what's happening in our back yards.
The panel, set in the cool expansiveness of the Asian Art Museum, brought together activists both experienced and novice to discuss what's new, what's needed, and public policy directions. Merril Cousin provided this summary of services available to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and those who care about them. This is a great document to help anyone navigate the range of aid available. More than a summary, it also assesses the need for services and gaps in between what's needed and what's available. Please click here to download this now.
Before you read further, did you download the file? If you're like most readers, you did not. You thought, "that sounds kind of interesting, I'll get back to it. Soon. Very soon." And with the best of intentions, you'll forget.
If nothing changes ... nothing changes.
STOP! Click here!
The time to download AND read this is NOW. Before you get that 3 am call from your friend who's at the sexual assault unit at Harborview. Before you find pornographic photos emailed to your 12 year old son from his coach. Before your sister appears with facial bruises and lacerations and a story about tripping down a flight of stairs.
Because the more you know now, the better the snap decision you're likely to make when you're in distress.
According to a recent report from the Office of Crime Victim Advocacy, women in Washington State experience a higher-than-national-average rate of sexual assault. Chances are you know someone who's been assaulted. Chances are you know several people who've been assaulted, but they didn't tell anyone (including you). In my April newsletter I listed some of the long-term effects of sexual assault--most of them are not positive. Do you want to see this change?
If nothing changes, nothing changes. Do something to change.
This is part of your safety planning process. Being prepared isn't only for Boy Scouts. Please download and read this overview. Today. Now.
from Strategic Living News Updates, May 2007