Domestic Violence Services

Vicci Hilty Executive Director of Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County.
Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County (DVS) began in 1976 and with safe homes, minimal services and no shelter.  People opened up their homes for people to stay in.  This morphed and in the 1980’s the original shelter for Snohomish county was created. 
An old farm house in Snohomish was moved to the property and created a 15 bed shelter.  At the time the goal was to get people safe and the goal was not more than helping immediately. 
About 15 years ago legal advocacy was added to the resources that were offered.  Help in finding attorneys and legal services. 
5 years ago DVS moved into a new facility that now houses 52 beds. Before the new facility they were turning away about 1500 people with the 15 bed facility. Now with 52 beds they still have turn aways, but not as many.  Now only about 400. 
DVS realized that housing is not the answer and that domestic violence is about power and control and that the children in these homes are taught these things and it continues. Now they offer shelter, legal services, housing services, a children’s program, a thrift store as well as prevention education. 
Something to always remember about domestic violence is that it is not the persons fault that stays, it is the persons fault that is hitting.  We need to stop blaming the person that stays. 
Housing is an issue and to find housing is a factor in people leaving.  The housing frees people to leave.  Domestic Violence Services also has children’s programs that help children that have seen or been a part of domestic violence. 
DVS also offers prevention education  services. These services teach people what healthy relationships look like. They go to schools and teach children boundaries and healthy relationships.  They learn how they share commonality and how we take care of each other.
For the future, DVS is looking more at how to reach out to children that are being raised in a violent home and how to get to them early.  A few years ago they hired a doctor that is helping run a program for kids and teaches kids about loving and caring for families well.  DVS is also looking at community advocacy where they can go to people that need help instead of them going to them. 
The thrift shop is called New and Again and is located in downtown Everett  at 3010 Grand if you would like to donate.  They can also come and do pick-up for large donations if you contact them. 
For someone to contact Domestic Violence Services they can call the 24 hour hotline 425-25abuse.
Click HERE to learn more.