Sharing stories of domestic violence

EVERETT — Domestic- violence survivors shared their stories Monday during a panel discussion with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in Everett.

The senator hosted the roundtable at Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center to hear from domestic-violence victims, advocates and social service providers.

Everett Police Chief Kathy Atwood and Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick also attended.

Murray was gathering ammunition for strengthening the Violence Against Women Act. The most recent reauthorization of the law has struggled to pass with provisions for American Indian women, immigrant women and people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

“In this country, we should be able to help someone who’s a victim of domestic violence, no matter who they are, where they live or who they love,” Murray said.

One of the speakers was Deborah Parker, vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors. Parker, a domestic-violence survivor, has worked with Murray to share her own story of abuse to support extended protections for native women.

“We are asking for what we believe is very important for us to maintain a healthy community and protect our women, our children and our men,” Parker said.

Many of the survivors talked about the moments they found help, and the difference it made in their lives.

Murray and others thanked them for their strength and courage in sharing.

Hearing from marginalized groups about their experiences with domestic violence strengthens a community’s ability to find solutions, said Connie Burk, executive director of the Northwest Network.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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