SPOKANE, Wash. — According to statistics from the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 women at some point in their life are subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or a non-partner, and younger women are among the most at risk.
Before the pandemic began, Spokane County had the highest rate of domestic violence in Washington, being a few points higher than the state average, according to a 2019 study done by the Women Helping Women Fund and Spokane Regional Health District.
"Spokane County’s rate of domestic violence was significantly higher than the state’s at 10.4 offenses per 1,000 people," the report said.
In 2019, Washington state's average was 7.4 per 1,000, the study also showed. Advocates from YWCA Spokane said the pandemic has only made the issue worse. Calls to YWCA's helpline increased more than a 40% in 2020. The number of calls went from an average of 3,500 in 2019 to 5,000 in 2020.
Events happening in the Spokane area
There a many events happening around to Spokane to bring awareness to Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Shop for a Cause Week: Multiple businesses in Spokane will donate a portion of their proceeds to YWCA Spokane during Oct 18 – 23, which is recognized by YWCA associations as “Week Without Violence.” For a full list of participants, click here.
Survive to Thrive: A local survivor shares her journey of healing after experiencing domestic violence. This film is presented through mission partner Hamilton Studio. The survivor’s story shifts away the focus from a survivor’s endurance and toward the capacity to heal and build a future free from violence. The event will be held on Oct. 20.
Purple for a Purpose bar hop and Bingo hosted by The Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition will be on Oct. 13. The event will begin at Satellite at 5:30 p.m. for a purple4apurpose drink, then they will go to Shawn O'Donnell's at 6:30 p.m. for lavender mimosa and appetizers, then there will be Bingo and a raffle.
Resources available in the Spokane area
YWCA has served women and children in Spokane for 117 years. They offer a wide range of services and resources such as helping women escape from domestic violence, get access to legal support, provide a safe place for healing and growth, and grant opportunities for women to learn new skills.
The Spokane Regional Domestic Violence Coalition is focused on preventing domestic violence, educating the general public and creating awareness about domestic violence and working with community leaders and members to end domestic violence.
Mujeres in Action (M.i.A) is a Spokane-based organization that is dedicated to serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence from the Latinx communities. They work to advocate for sexual assault survivors and increase access to culturally relevant services for survivors.
The Spokane Tribe has a set of resources for victims of domestic violence. Those who need to can call the Spokane Tribal Law Enforcement at (509) 258-4400. They can also email crime victim advocate Gerald Crowshoe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-SAFE. Those who need to can also text the word 'START' to 88788.
To reach the National Sexual Assault Hotline, call (800) 656-HOPE. They also have a feature to chat discreetly on their website.