When it comes to helping people who are experiencing domestic violence, some innovative approaches deserve applause. 

  1. Angel Shots:  A couple years ago, a bar in Florida started a policy to help patrons who need to escape from potential harm.  If a patron comes to the bar and orders an “angel shot”, it sends the bartender a coded message that they need help to leave the bar to get away from someone who is trouble.  Since then, the secret “angel shot” policy has spread across the world, and media reports have verified its success in Columbus, Savannah, Charleston, Hermosa Beach, Tempe, London and South Africa.  The policy has evolved to identify specific needs: if the shot is ordered neat, the patron is asking to be escorted to their car; if order on the rocks, the bartender will call for an Uber or Lyft; if ordered with lime, the patron is asking for police help.  Some media reports suggest that once the policy is discovered they’ve had to change the code word to keep it a secretive process. Some bars have posted their policy in the restroom.  

  2. Matched Savings Programs:  Several domestic violence coalitions have set up flexible micro match funding opportunities through generous private funding programs. A recent AP article documented the success of such a program in New Hampshire which boosts survivors’ self-esteem and their ability to recover from financial abuse that nearly always accompanies physical abuse.  In a similar program, The Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) received funding from The Allstate Foundation’s Economic Empowerment Grant Program which partnered with and provided technical assistance to two local programs – the Spokane YWCA and the South King County YWCA.  The Allstate program provides a curriculum for financial literacy classes and has invested more than $60 million to help more than 1.3 million survivors nationwide since 2005. How other programs have found success and their funding sources are highlighted in a report found on the website of  the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.

Our Washington Family Lawyers Are Here To Help You

WSCADV also has an excellent downloadable guide for friends and family of those experiencing domestic violence, “How to Help Someone in an Abusive Relationship.”  Once a person recognizes that they need help, the family lawyers at Molly B. Kenny, LLC are ready to assist them through the legal system to obtain the necessary orders to protect themselves, their children and their assets.   

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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