We hear a lot in the news about dangerous things around us: distracted driving, vaping, shootings in public places. Yet, the leading cause of injury to women in the United States between the ages of 15 and 44 remains domestic violence. Think about that. Social media tells us of all the big, scary things out there, yet the biggest threat remains inside our homes. We need to change this.
Like many others, we proclaimed October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It’s why the background on this week’s issue is purple. This public health and safety concern affects men and women as well as children, families, neighborhoods and our entire community. What else have we done? Quite a few things:
- To protect children from harm, we made it a separate criminal offense to commit domestic violence in the presence of a minor child.
- Our Legal Department includes a domestic violence advocate who helps support victims by providing information, resources and guidance.
- Our attorneys prosecute crimes related to domestic violence and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.
- Councilmember Cindi Hochstatter and our City Attorney Andrea Marquez serve on the board of Exodus Housing, a Sumner non-profit that works to help individuals and children flee violent situations.
- We have a private kiosk within the Police Department to apply for an emergency temporary Domestic Violence Protection Order.
When someone in our community can’t be safe in his or her own home, we are all affected. If you are experiencing a situation yourself, you don’t have to go through this alone. Please use the excellent resources available to you and/or contact the City Domestic Violence Advocate for more assistance. If you think you may know someone experiencing abuse, also contact us and try to connect your friend to resources. Click here to go to our webpage with information on resources.
Please, let’s work together to make Sumner safe for everyone, both on the streets and inside homes.
Mayor Bill Pugh