Leaving an abusive relationship is one of the most dangerous times for survivors of domestic violence (DV), which is why the U.S. legal system offers tools, like protection orders, to force abusers to stay away from their victims. Too often, however, survivors aren’t believed when they go to request these orders – or the legal system makes obtaining them so difficult that survivors don’t bother to seek them.
Stacey Marron, the DV Program Manager for Solid Ground’s Broadview Shelter and Transitional Housing, and “Nique,” a Broadview resident and DV survivor, recently talked with a reporter from InvestigateWest about the ways in which our state’s protection order system fails to keep DV survivors safe when they’re at their most vulnerable. The article, Low-Income Domestic Violence Survivors Face Uphill Battle In Obtaining Court-Ordered Protections, is part of a reporting project called Orders of Protection.
Broadview staff “try their best to make it as comfortable for you as they can, but legally, they also walk you through all the steps that you need to walk through.” ~Nique, Broadview resident & DV survivor
InvestigateWest found that about half of applications for full protection orders in Washington state are never approved. DV advocates says that’s because survivors are often at a steep disadvantage compared to their abusers: Many become homeless after leaving the relationship, don’t have access to their own money to pay for a lawyer, and may not have computers or the internet to file documents and keep up with court hearings.
Broadview works to help survivors overcome these barriers by assigning them an advocate and literally staying by their side through court hearings. As Nique told InvestigateWest, Broadview staff “try their best to make it as comfortable for you as they can, but legally, they also walk you through all the steps that you need to walk through. Because you’re at a disadvantage at the moment. It’s not easy being displaced.”
Read the full article, Low-Income Domestic Violence Survivors Face Uphill Battle In Obtaining Court-Ordered Protections, on the InvestigateWest website.
Solid Ground’s Broadview Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing provides confidential temporary housing for parents and their children experiencing homelessness due to domestic violence. We provide 24-hour trauma-informed support services to help families meet their immediate needs and move forward with their goals. Our team of housing counselors, child advocates, domestic violence/legal advocates and specialized service providers partner with residents as they work to secure permanent housing, heal from trauma, and increase self-sufficiency and stability.
Domestic Violence Help in Seattle/King County
Call 206.299.2500 for Solid Ground’s confidential Domestic Violence shelter services. You can also dial 2.1.1 or toll-free at 1.800.621.4636, Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm, for info about all King County resources.