Prevention at Home Video Education Series
YWCA Spokane staff have joined together to create a unique online engagement opportunity focused on cultivating increased community education and awareness surrounding issues related to intimate partner domestic violence. The eleven-part video series presents engaging, educational content for individuals from any background or current knowledge base. The videos and blog posts also offer watchers an opportunity to get to know YWCA Spokane advocates on a personal level; each contributor brings their own personality into their writing and presentation style. Each topic within the series has its own blog post, like this one, including a video. All of the other topics in the series are linked below. As you watch these videos and read the blog posts, we hope that you will gain more knowledge, explore topics that you may not have been exposed to, and empower yourself and those around to be in healthier, happier relationships. Thank you for taking the time to further your education, awareness, and understanding surrounding these critical issues.
Services at YWCA Spokane
At YWCA Spokane, our mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. A large part of how we do that here in the Spokane community is by engaging in direct services with people who have experienced intimate partner domestic violence. At YWCA Spokane, we’re very interested in partnering with survivors in their healing journey, no matter what that means to them.
We have two domestic violence safe shelters at confidential locations in Spokane, which offer a safe place, physically, where survivors can go and live away from their abusive partners for as long as they need to while they explore long term alternatives. We welcome children and pets at our shelter, and work with clients of all genders. We also have a 24/hr helpline that is staffed by advocates out of our safe shelter. This number, 509-326-2255, is available for anyone to call, at any time, to safety plan, discuss concerns about their relationship or a loved one’s relationship, get connected to long term resources, or start the shelter admissions process. Along the same lines, in the realm of community response, we have an on-call team of advocates who meet survivors at hospitals in the Spokane area any time, day or night, after hospital staff have identified that domestic violence has occurred in a patients’ life, and the survivor has expressed that they would like the support of an advocate. Hospital on-call advocates engage in safety planning with survivors and support them through whatever process they would like to go through at the hospital, in addition to connecting them with long term resources.
Most of the long term resources and services that we have take place at our main location in downtown Spokane, 930 N Monroe St. Many survivors go there to meet with counseling center advocates. Counseling center advocates provide support to survivors as they explore options in their relationships and work to recover from trauma after it has occurred. Children who have witnessed intimate partner domestic violence receive specialized support from our Youth Advocate. Survivors of all ages, genders, sexualities, and experiences are welcome, and our advocates support survivors in any action they are interested in. Structured mental health therapy also takes place at our main location.Our team of therapists specializes in EMDR, which is a type of treatment specifically for individuals who have experienced trauma.
Additionally, many survivors come to our main location for legal assistance. We have Legal Advocates who assist survivors in obtaining protection orders against their current or previous intimate partners. Family law matters such as divorce, parenting plans, and child custody are handled by attorneys and paralegals in our civil legal department.
Our mobile housing advocates also work primarily at our main location, though they are able to travel to meet a client where they are at, as needed. Housing advocates provide assistance to survivors experiencing housing barriers such as homelessness, risk of eviction, unstable housing, and unsafe housing.
Our Community Service Advocates, or CSO Advocates, work part-time at our main location and part-time at DSHS, the Department of Social and Health Services. CSO advocates work with survivors who receive TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and provide support, safety planning, case management, and resource brokering. The hours that a survivors works with a CSO Advocate are counted as work hours, allowing for trauma-informed participation in the TANF program through DSHS.
Wrap Around Wednesday, which we also call WRAP, is a weekly clinic in which all YWCA Spokane direct services are available on a walk-in basis. This occurs every Wednesday afternoon starting at 12:45 at 930 N Monroe St. Many of our direct services also have alternative walk-in hours during other days of the week, but civil legal assistance is only available on a walk-in basis during WRAP. During WRAP, a survivor is able to meet with staff members from multiple departments as well, and receive various types of support. For each of our departments, appointments are also available. Walk-in hours are suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, and scheduling appointments looks a little different, but our direct service staff are still here to support you! For the most up to date information about the services we have available during COVID-19, please visit ywcaspokane.org/programs/services
In addition to direct services for people who’ve experienced intimate partner domestic violence, YWCA Spokane has many other services available. Our Women’s Opportunity Center provides a variety of services focused on helping women work towards their life goals. The Women’s Opportunity Center offers opportunities to grow and heal with a focus on meeting women exactly where they are and providing professional, compassionate, trauma informed services individually designed to best meet each individual’s needs.
The Women’s Opportunity Center has a private, secure computer lab, available free to women participating in services offered at the YWCA. Women seeking employment may enroll in Women to Work, a program that helps reduce stress and provide meaningful resources and case management addressing the challenge of finding the right job. This program reduces employment barriers, provides practical education, networking opportunities, skill-based classes, and one-on-one support from working professionals.
The Women’s Opportunity Mentor is available to provide mentoring and support. This program is designed to support a woman in whatever phase she finds herself, pre-employment, job searching, after the job and beyond. The mentoring relationship is designed to focus on what the client sees as most important in this moment, while allowing and inviting a new desired future to unfold. The mentor program is designed to be available for the long haul, a partner on the road to personal and economic empowerment.
Essentials, a WorkFirst program, is a twelve week LifeSkills class designed to support TANF Mom’s in meeting their state requirements. DSHS case managers refer TANF Mom’s to Essentials where they focus on building a supportive community, increasing self-awareness and self-worth, working on healthy relationships as well as, how to be a better parent. There are conversations and training in financial education, career exploration, creative expressions and so much more.
Our Sister’s Closet, a free clothing boutique for women in transition, is a very in-demand program through the women’s opportunity center. Our Sister’s Closet helps hundreds of women every year secure access to casual and professional clothing.
On a weekly basis we offer Creative Expressions, a non-therapeutic visual art group which offers clients the opportunity to use art journaling, or other media, as a tool for self-reflection, self-expression and to enhance personal wellness. This is a non-critical approach to art-making. Participants are provided support to spark creativity and reflection, but are also encouraged to be self-guided in their approach to creativity. All supplies are provided. Trauma Informed Yoga is offered twice a week for women interested in exploring yoga on their path to healing.
Three times a year the YWCA also sponsors 10-week, Circle of Security Parenting groups for moms offered through the Women’s Opportunity Center classroom. The Circle of Security Parenting™ program is based on decades of research about how secure parent-child relationships can be supported and strengthened. At times all parents feel lost or without a clue about what their child might need from them. Imagine what it might feel like if a parent were able to make sense of what their child was really asking from them. In a supportive group environment, participants have the opportunity to understand their child’s emotional world by learning to read the emotional needs, support their child’s ability to successfully manage emotions, enhance the development of their child’s self –esteem, and honor their innate wisdom and desire for their child to be secure.
YWCA Spokane supports early childhood development through ECEAP, the state-funded Early Childhood Education Assistance Program. ECEAP is a free preschool program for three and four year old children from families at or below 110% of the federal poverty line. YWCA Spokane’s four ECEAP sites utilize Conscious Discipline, a socioemotional, brain based curriculum and classroom management technique which understands that children need to feel safe in order to learn and grow. ECEAP helps get children ready for kindergarten, provides health and nutrition services, family support, advocacy training, and parent education. Outside of ECEAP, YWCA Spokane staff members nurture healthy childhood development in Safe Haven, our drop-in childcare center for children whose parents are using services at our main location.
Education and outreach efforts are also quite important to us. We have a dedicated prevention team which has a regular presence within multiple local highschools and youth engagement agencies across the city. Through the engagements the prevention team has with youth, they spread education about cultivating healthy relationships and preventing violent behaviors. Outside of engagement with youth, we offer corporate education and training opportunities which spread awareness about the realities of domestic violence and educate community members about how to help themselves and others who may be in abusive situations.
So, we do a lot of things at YWCA Spokane. For more information, you can explore our website, blog, and social media pages. I hope you tune into the rest of our videos, and feel empowered to reach out to us if you think you may benefit from support.
Written content and video for this topic within the Prevention at Home series provided by YWCA Spokane staff member, Mia Morton.
Continue Learning with Prevention at Home!
Explore more topics on your journey empowering yourself and those around you by visiting the following blog posts and watching the other videos in our prevention at home series.
- Services at YWCA Spokane
- What is Intimate Partner Domestic Violence
- Red Flags and the Relationship Spectrum
- Respect, Boundaries, and Consent
- Teen Domestic Violence
- Why Do They Stay or Go Back
- Trauma and the Brain
- Safety Planning
- Self Care
- Self Regulation
- How to Help a Friend
External Resources for Continuing Education
YWCA Spokane staff members have collected the following external links for you to further your education.
- Equality vs. Equity
- Consent Tea
- Empathy vs. Sympathy-Brene Brown
- Self Care TedTalks
- Talk with your Kids: Consent and Healthy Relationships
- Violence Against Women, It’s a Men’s Issue-Jackson Katz
- We are the Lions-Skip Marley
YWCA SPOKANE IS HERE FOR YOU
If you or someone you know is impacted by intimate partner domestic violence, know that confidential advocates are always available through our 24hr helpline services by calling 509-326-2255, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or texting 509-220-3725.
To learn more about accessing additional services through YWCA Spokane during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit ywcaspokane.org/services. Thank you!