Spousal abuse can happen to anyone, and this abuse may be physical, emotional, or mental—or all three. Adults and children alike can be severely traumatized by the stress of abuse at home, but help is available for you and your family when you need it.
There are resources in Washington and the Seattle area that you can use to break free of an abusive marriage or relationship, get assistance with housing or finances, and seek counseling when you feel that you or your children are stretched past your emotional limits.
Domestic Abuse Resources in the State of Washington
To take the first step toward a fresh start, the following organizations offer help and information to women, men, or families with children in need of housing or financial assistance due to domestic abuse:
- Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN). This non-profit organization serves South King County and offers a variety of programs for its clients, including a confidential shelter, children’s programs, extended stay program, legal advocacy, education, outreach, support groups, and Spanish support groups. The 24-Hour Advocacy and Crisis hotline number is 425-656-7867.
- New Beginnings. New Beginnings is a domestic violence non-profit organization that specializes in domestic violence prevention, awareness, advocacy, and shelter. To access the organization’s services, which include a legal clinic, a translational housing program, children’s services, emergency shelter, and personal support, call the 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 206-522-9472.
- InterIm Community Development Association. Formerly known as the International District Housing Alliance, this Seattle organization specifically helps non-English speakers, Chinatown/International District (CID) Seattle residents, and Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) of greater Seattle who are in need of housing assistance due to domestic violence or abuse. The number for InterIM Housing Services is (206) 623-5132.
- LifeWire. This Bellevue non-profit organization works on behalf of victims to end domestic violence and offers emergency housing and financial assistance for women, men, families, and the LGBTQ community, as well as advocacy and other support services. LifeWire’s 24-hour helpline can be reached at (425) 746-1940 or (800) 827-8840.
- Seattle Domestic Violence Prevention Council. This government-run council works to prevent domestic violence in coastal Washington through awareness programs and an array of coordinating services for domestic violence survivors. Those who are victims of domestic abuse are asked to call the free Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-562-6025.
- Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This non-profit, state-wide organization has programs in dozens of Washington counties that include free information on domestic violence, training programs, events, a lending library, and more. The organization also welcomes volunteers and works toward state-wide policy changes and releases an annual report that analyzes domestic abuse data in Washington State.
- Alternative Housing Options. Victims of domestic violence have a safe place to go. There are several housing options around Seattle if you are in need of shelter.
Therapy and Psychological Resources in Washington
Emotional health is important to the healing process. Both adults and children can have extreme difficulty in coping with an abusive situation. A family therapist can help you and your family strengthen and develop the coping skills needed to move forward and reclaim your lives. You may also wish to seek the services of a child psychologist to help your young ones deal with the stress or aftermath of an abusive relationship. It's also helpful to understand what domestic abuse victims need to know about leaving and divorce and what questions to ask yourself before leaving an abusive partner.
You can seek out local therapists, psychologists, and support groups using a website such as Find a Therapist, Healthgrades, or other online services. Some websites even allow you to search by insurance carriers.
If you’re having a mental crisis and need to reach out to someone right away, the 24-hour Crisis Clinic Hotline can be reached at (866) 427-4747, or dial 9-1-1 if the situation is life-threatening.
Legal Assistance for Domestic Violence Victims
Everyone deserves the right to a relationship that’s free from violence and abuse, no matter what your age, race, gender, or orientation. If you are or have been in an abusive relationship and need to take legal action, an attorney with experience in family law can help you get a protection order, file for divorce, press criminal charges, and safeguard your legal rights.
At the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny, our attorneys are here to help. Call us now, or use the contact form to email us today to arrange a private consultation in our Bellevue office.