Domestic Violence: Name it. Act to End It.

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Domestic Violence: Name it. Act to End It.

By Denise Miller
Advocacy Coordinator for Firesteel

dva_social_fsFiresteel, an advocacy network of eight YWCAs across Washington State, is highlighting the connections between domestic violence and family homelessness.

We’ve posted an interactive quiz to test and build knowledge about domestic violence. It will be up through the end of the month, and we encourage you to take it!

We have also filmed interviews with survivors and case managers talking about tactics abusers use to isolate and trap their victims.

Many perpetrators of domestic violence — particularly males — limit their victims’ access to financial resources. If a survivor doesn’t have money for a rental deposit, a hotel room or even a bus ride, she is going to have a hard time leaving her abuser.

A recent survey of women who had experienced domestic violence found that 74% stayed with a partner longer than they wanted to because of financial concerns.

In this video, Jennifer Quiróz, manager of the Economic Resilience Program at the YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish, explains how economic abuse can look in different relationships. She also shares why economic abuse is such an effective tool for ensnaring women in violent situations.


Often, when women do escape their abusers, they are forced into homelessness. In fact, domestic violence is a leading cause of family homelessness.

When Naomi left her violent partner, she couldn’t afford rent. She and her two children spent a year and a half sleeping in shelters and on friends’ and family members’ floors and couches. In this video, Naomi shares her story.


Sadly, Naomi’s experience is all too common. On a single day in 2012, 35,323 domestic violence victims found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic violence programs across the country. But 6,818 requests for housing were unmet that day. In many cases, the programs didn’t have the funding to provide these services.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Talk about it:  We must break the silence around domestic violence before we can end it. and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence have great resources for starting conversations.
  • Call or write your legislators: Let them know you are concerned about domestic violence, and ask them what they are doing to support survivors.
  • Program the National Domestic Violence Hotline into your phone now: 1-800-799-SAFE. You can call this number to get help if anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence.

Denise Miller is the Advocacy Coordinator for Firesteel, a network of Washington YWCAs committed to ending homelessness. Follow Firesteel on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about sparking change through innovative advocacy.

YWCA Week Without ViolenceThis post is part of the YWCA Week Without Violence™ 2013 Blog Carnival. We invite you to join the dialogue! Post your comment below, share your story and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #ywcaWWV.

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