Hard to Believe: Higher Incomes Are Not a Refuge

Hard to believe.  Higher incomes are not a refuge from one of our most serious problems:  domestic violence.

“Domestic violence occurs in all communities, cultures and income levels.  Our community is not immune to this problem,” Together Center’s newest Board Member and Redmond Assistant Police Chief Kristi Wilson said recently.

One of Together Center’s key messages is that human services are not just for the poor.  People of all income levels utilize community supports such as those on the Together Center campus.  Domestic violence, among other areas of need, impacts people of all cultures, all ethnicities and all income levels.

We recall one Eastside woman with two young kids who visited our door week after week in tears, unable to find a safe place to live despite abuse by a husband.

On another day, the ostensibly wealthy wife of a software professional sought help, terrified at any moment that her husband was stalking her.  Days later: the same scenario with a different mother.  For these women, refuge was found with a great deal of perseverance, but the odds are poor.

LIFEWIRE, which offers safe housing, tells us they must now turn away 34 of every 35 women who seek emergency refuge in shelter with them.

A well-known Group Health Cooperative study showed that domestic violence rate for women in King County is nearly twice that found in national studies (44% had experienced at least one incident).  And interestingly, their study pool included primarily white, higher educated and employed women.

People like many of you and me.  People who belong to Chambers of Commerce.  People who operate businesses nearby.

It’s true. People of all income levels utilize health and human services, including help with domestic violence.  With your support of community services, assistance may be available for everyone when they really need the help.

 (For information and referral to community services, call 211. The LIFEWIRE hotline is 425-746-1940.)