Domestic Violence: Sue’s Story

Written by Denise Miller, Firesteel Advocacy Coordinator

Sue’s former partner seemed like a nice guy at first. When they moved in together, though, the difference was night and day. He beat her so badly that she frequented the emergency room. He completely controlled her finances, and cut her off from friends and family so she was trapped.

When Sue did escape, she became homeless. In the 1980s, when Sue left her partner, there weren’t many domestic violence programs. After Sue and her young son reached the limit of how long they could stay at homeless shelters, they would spend nights riding around on buses to stay warm.

Though we now have more resources for victims, domestic violence is still a leading cause of homelessness for women and their children. On a single day in 2012 in Washington state, domestic violence programs served 1,825 survivors. But 377 requests were unmet that day because programs didn’t have enough resources. Ninety percent of those unmet needs were for housing.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Call or write your legislators: Let them know you are concerned about domestic violence, and ask them what they are doing to support survivors. Register on this website to be matched with your elected officials.
  • Talk about it: We must break the silence around domestic violence before we can end it. Share this video and other content we’ve posted on our Facebook and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence also have great resources for starting conversations.
  • Program the National Domestic Violence Hotline into your phone now: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233). You can call this number to get help if anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence.

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