Relationship Abuse

Relationship Abuse and Domestic Violence is any form of emotional, verbal, psychological, physical, or sexual abuse by a romantic partner. Victims often experience abuse that gets more severe over time as the abuser tries to control or dominate them.

Characteristics of an abusive relationship can include:

  • Jealousy and possessiveness
  • Name-calling and putdowns
  • Controlling behavior
  • Pressure to engage in activities (sexual or other)
  • Physical threats to hurt you or themselves
  • Choking, strangling, or other injurious behavior

Fear, threats, shame, and the belief that an abuser’s behavior will change often contribute to the victim feeling unsure about talking to someone about his or her situation. It is important to remember that there is help available. No one deserves to feel unsafe in a romantic relationship.

In this country, six million women are beaten each year by an intimate partner and four thousand women are murdered.  Heterosexual men are the most frequently reported perpetrators of domestic violence and women most usually the reported victims (95%). However, it is important to remember that men can also be victims of domestic violence and that violence occurs with similar frequency in same-sex relationships.

Estimates from national studies of teen dating indicate that 28% of teen relationships involve violence.

Resources that can assist:

Call 9-1-1: If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

24-Hour Crisis Line: 866-4CRISIS (866-427-4747)
can provide linkage to domestic violence agencies.

Call 2-1-1: During the day, King County 2-1-1 can link you to agencies or you can find statewide resources at 2-1-1 Community Resources Online.

DAWN (Domestic Abuse Women’s Network)
425- 656-7867
www.dawnonline.org

LifeWire Domestic Violence Crisis Line (24 Hours)
(formerly Eastside Domestic Violence Program)
425-746-1940
www.LifeWire.org

Youth Eastside Services–Dating Violence Program
425-747-4937
www.youtheastsideservices.org

NW Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse
206-568-7777
nwnetwork.org/

Asian & Pacific Islander Women & Family Safety Center
206- 467-9976
www.apiwfsc.org

Rape & Sexual Assault

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a rape or sexual assault, it is important to go to the emergency department of your local hospital as soon as possible.  The victim should not take a shower, clean up, or change their clothes.  At the hospital, a social worker will discuss options and allow the victim to decide if a specialized nurse or doctor should collect evidence (the first examination is free of charge).  The doctor will discuss medications that are available to reduce the chances of contracting an STD or getting pregnant.  If the crime is against a person under the age of 18, the law requires the police is notified. However, going to the hospital and submitting a report does NOT mean that charges must be filed against the perpetrator or that participation in a legal case must occur.  Counselors can talk about available alternatives and help the victim decide what the best choice is going to be for him or her.

Rape by acquaintances accounts for 60% of all rapes reported to rape crisis centers (Levy, 1991).

Approximately 44% of people who are victims of a sexual assault are under the age of 18. (Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress)

Resources that can assist:

Call 9-1-1: If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

24-Hour Crisis Line: 866-4CRISIS (866-427-4747)
can provide linkage to domestic violence agencies.

Call 2-1-1: During the day, King County 2-1-1 can link you to agencies or you can find statewide resources at 2-1-1 Community Resources Online.

King County Sexual Assault Resource Center: 24-Hour Crisis Line
800-825-7273
www.kcsarc.org

Child Protective Services (24 Hours)
800-562-5624
www.dshs.wa.gov

Children’s Response Center (East King Co.)
425-688-5130
www.childrensresponsecenter.org

Communities Against Rape & Abuse (CARA)
206-322-4856
www.cara-seattle.org

Harborview Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress
206-521-1800, evenings & weekends 206-731-3000
www.harborview.org

Incest Survivors Anonymous (Support group)
206-903-9427