VOLUME 28 NO. 4 | JANUARY 17 - JANUARY 23, 2009

Help for non-English-speaking domestic violence victims

Last updated 1-15-09 at 2:03 p.m.

Mayor Greg Nickels announced the launch of an innovative toll-free hotline for non-English-speaking victims of domestic violence. The 888 number offers one-call access that connects limited-English-speaking domestic violence victims to services they need in their language. It is the first of its kind in the country.

The “Peace in the Home” toll-free helpline — 1-888-847-7205 — links to a menu of 14 languages and directly connects callers to a community-based agency that can serve their language and service needs.

“This helpline will offer assistance to our city’s most vulnerable: refugee and immigrant victims of domestic violence who don’t speak English as a first language,” said Nickels. “We can connect these women to the services they need and the hope for a better life.”

The Multilingual Access Project (MAP), a group of community agencies providing domestic violence services to non- and limited-English-speaking immigrants and refugees, came up with the idea. A single-line phone access system has been a long-standing priority for MAP.

“Given culture and language barriers, finding help for immigrant and refugee victims of domestic violence can be especially difficult,” said Someireh Amirfaiz, executive director of the Refugee Women’s Alliance, one of the MAP organizations. “The toll-free helpline will greatly improve access to domestic violence services for refugees and immigrants.”

Calls to the helpline are connected to multilingual domestic violence advocates at one of seven community agencies in the Seattle/King County area: Asian & Pacific Islander Women & Family Safety Center, Chaya, Consejo Counseling and Referral Service, Domestic Abuse Women’s Network, Eastside Domestic Violence Program, Refugee Women’s Alliance, and the YWCA of south King County.

The helpline offers services in 14 languages: Amarinya or Amharic, Japanese, Khmer, Lao, Mandarin, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Tigrinya, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. Hindi will be added in the coming months.

For more information, contact Alex Fryer at 206-684-8358, alex.fryer@seattle.gov or contact David Takami at 206-684-0253, david.takami@seattle.gov.


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