October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is an opportunity for advocates and survivors of intimate partner violence to come together. As a community, we connect with, appreciate, learn from, and remember people who have been hurt by or lost their lives to intimate partner violence.
We honor this month because the abuse is pervasive: 1 in 4 women and girls and 1 in 7 men and boys will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Last year, 38 women and men lost their lives in Oregon alone. We will not achieve safe, strong communities without preventing, disrupting, grieving, and healing this harm.
The photo album below is a retrospective of how Partnership for Safety and Justice honored Domestic Violence Awareness Month over the past few weeks. Together we hosted and participated in events that ranged from fun to emotional to educational, all while taking stock of how much more we need to do to promote safety for everyone.
If you or someone you care about is impacted by intimate partner violence, The Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence offers a well of resources available throughout Oregon. Survivors’ family members can also refer to our Help Hope Heal Guide for information about how to support people experiencing intimate partner violence. Or you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.
Crime Survivor Program Director
Danielle Sered is a leading voice on survivor-centered reform who advocates for justice that reduces both violence and incarceration. Heading the Vera Institute’s Common Justice, she came to Portland to talk about the principles that guide their approach to responding to harm. The first of these is responding to what survivors want.
“So what do survivors want? They want answers. They want their voices heard. They want a sense of control relative to what happened to them. They want the person to repair the harm as well as they possibly can. And they don’t want the person to hurt them or anyone else ever again.”
We were thrilled to co-host Danielle’s visit with ACLU of Oregon, OAASIS, and Lewis & Clark Law School’s Criminal Justice Reform Clinic. Thanks also to Northwest Health Foundation and Andrea Lonas Photography.
This year’s Women in Prison Conference centered on domestic violence. At the annual event hosted by the Oregon Justice Resource Center, Amy facilitated a panel of speakers who discussed the unique challenges that queer and trans people and women of color face when calling 911.
Too often, law enforcement are uninformed about how to effectively support LGBT and non-white survivors, which frequently leads to their arresting both parties. The panel addressed the disparities and provided a range of perspectives on the issue. Panelists included Rep. Carla Piluso; Gresham Detective Fred Huffman; Steph Ng Ping Cheung, LGBTQ Program Coordinator at Bradley Angle; and Brigitte Rodriguez, El Programa Hispano Católico – Project UNICA.
The 11th Annual Multnomah County Family Violence Coordinating Council celebrated people who are dedicated to all family members’ safety, especially women and children. This year, the Council awarded Rep. Tawna Sanchez for her collaborative responses to domestic violence through the Native American Youth and Family Center. (Photo courtesy of Native American Youth and Family Services, c 2016.)
At this year’s Multnomah County Domestic Violence Vigil, survivors and advocates shared stories and a call to action, asking people to break the silence of abuse. Held in Gresham, Rep. Carla Piluso led the gathering that honored survivors and mourned those who lost their lives to intimate partner violence.
Community leaders from across the region attended the event to honor victims and survivors, including Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, and Gresham City Counselor Karylinn Echols.
Our staff participated in a trivia night fundraiser for Call to Safety, a Portland-based organization that provides confidential support services and education to empower people of all genders, sexualities, and identities who are impacted by domestic and sexual violence.
Amy, Anita, and Cleo’s team came in third place, successfully answering a wide range of trivia questions that included lyrics to Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “After the Love Has Gone.” (Fun fact: Call to Safety’s Executive Director Rebecca Peatow Nickels is also a Partnership for Safety and Justice board member!)