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Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: domestic violence

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October 21, 2013 at 7:08 AM

Next Seattle mayor must address domestic violence — ad or no ad

Domestic violence shouldn’t just be fodder for a Seattle mayoral campaign three weeks before election day. It’s a perennial crisis our community has failed to respond to.

Last year, 53 men, women and children died in Washington from abuse at the hands of a family member or partner, according to the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Twelve of those deaths occurred in King County. Thousands more incidents — from stalking, intimidation to physical abuse — get reported in the Seattle area every year. The King County Prosecutor’s Office files about 1,200 felony charges annually.

My questions for Mike McGinn and Ed Murray: What happens after Nov. 5? What would each of you do to curb this public health and safety epidemic?

Both indicate they support a Family Justice Center to respond to domestic violence victims’ needs in official campaign literature and questionnaires like this one from the Seattle Human Services Coalition.

Lately, they’ve resorted to finger-wagging.

On Thursday, Mike McGinn demanded Murray’s campaign stop airing the ad below because it’s “deceptive.” (The Murray campaign can’t do that. The ad was paid for by an independent political action committee called People for a New Seattle Mayor.) Read Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner’s analysis of the ad, which he deemed “mostly false.”

McGinn has to own up to the fact his administration eliminated a domestic violence prevention unit and its director two years ago. According to this Seattle Times news report, McGinn says he maintained funding while folding those services into the Human Services Department to “break down silos.” Money alone can’t end abuse. The city lost people during that transition with institutional knowledge.

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Comments | Topics: domestic violence, ed murray, mayors

May 7, 2013 at 6:05 AM

Turn disturbing news into action to stop abuse against women and children

Domestic violence against women and children persists. We all need to do a better job of recognizing signs of abuse and intervening when necessary. I’m saying this because I  felt a roller coaster of emotions Monday as several major stories broke nationwide. The airman in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office…

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Comments | Topics: abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking

February 27, 2013 at 6:00 AM

U.S. House should vote on Senate’s version of Violence Against Women Act

Congress is finally on track toward reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

Wednesday’s Seattle Times editorial calls on House GOP leaders, including U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., to give their fellow members the opportunity to vote for the Senate’s bipartisan framework.

According to Politico and Roll Call,  House Republican leaders instead have set up a deal where they’ll first send their watered-down version of the bill to the floor. If it fails, they’ll put the Senate’s more inclusive S. 47 up for a vote.

S.47 passed the upper chamber Feb. 12 by a wide margin, 78 to 22. President Barack Obama favors it. A growing number of Republicans (including U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash.), have urged their leadership to move toward passage. It’s a shame GOP leaders won’t just send the Senate bill to the floor, but if this is what compromise looks like in a hyper-partisan Congress — I’ll give it a chance to work out.

Tuesday evening, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray released the following statement:

“We are on the cusp of a huge victory for every single woman who has been told over the past 16 months that they didn’t deserve VAWA protections. I applaud those moderate Republicans in the House who are ready to put politics aside and help us get this over the finish line. I know that the broad coalition of women and advocates who I’ve worked with over the course of this long effort have their fingers crossed and will be watching closely.”

Earlier in the day, Murray spoke out on the floor about the importance of convincing the House to take up the Senate’s bill. Watch the video below.

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Comments | More in Video | Topics: congress, democrats, domestic violence