Saturday, October 1, 2016
October 1, 2016
I started writing for Betty in 2007. Since 2008, every single October I have written about Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Because not only is it the cause that’s dearest to my heart, every September there has been an LGBTQ domestic violence episode in the news, in my life, somewhere putting it right up in my face that this topic must be talked about. That domestic violence occurs every single day within our very own community. That abusers aren’t only straight, cis men.
Until this year. It has taken nine years, but there is no national headline, no personal phone call, no friend in need this year.
But guess what? Domestic violence still occurs every single day within our community. Within every community.
As much as I want to be thrilled that there’s nothing in the news, no immediate reminder, I can’t be. Because it just means I haven’t heard about it. Not that it hasn’t happened. Maybe you haven’t heard about it either. It’s still happening.
So, I’m going to, once again, tell you about the NW Network in Seattle, a domestic violence and sexual assault organization created specifically to serve the LGBTQ community. If you need them – if you are a victim, if you are looking for information and resources, if you want to help a loved one, or if you just have questions – they’re here for you. This month, they’re running a 7 week class entitled “Grrrl, We Got You.” It’s a strategy and exploration lab on community response to violence. While there is a suggested donation, no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Reach them online at: http://www.nwnetwork.org/ or on the phone for help and support during regular business hours at: 206-568-7777.
And about the Skagit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services, out of Mount Vernon. While they are not specifically an LGBTQ organization, they are committed to helping anyone who calls access information, resources, and help. They have many services, including support groups. And their annual Black and White Masquerade Auction is this month on the 22nd. Tickets are running about $65 and masks are even provided. Learn more about the event, the organization, or get help here: http://www.skagitdvsas.org/index.html. To get help, call their 24-hour hotline: (888) 336-9591.
And about Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services right here in Bellingham. When I called, they assured me that their resources are available to us, their shelters are open to anyone who identifies as female, and their volunteers get training on LGBTQ issues. You don’t have to travel just to get help. And next month, you can be a part of their largest fundraiser – Hands for Hope Auction and Gala. Stand up against domestic violence and sexual assault as if affects everyone. Get help, get access, and learn more about them at: http://dvsas.org/ or if you need assistance, call the hotline at: 877.715.1563 or 360.715.1563.
It’s October. And as much as I love warm fires, chilly nights, and the turning of the leaves, October really means my heart is one place, if the news cycle is or not.