Special Reports

Step up on domestic violence, official urges

It's your job to get involved if you hear fighting in the apartment next door, or if you know a friend is in a scary relationship.

That's what Ann Eft, director of the Pierce County Commission Against Domestic Violence, wants the community to know. She plans to hold a news conference today on what people should do about domestic violence.

"It seems like someone's declared open season on women," Eft said Thursday, referring to several recent high-profile domestic violence cases around the state.

Since Tacoma Police Chief David Brame fatally shot his wife and himself April 26, Eft said, there seem to have more assaults and killings in the news, as well as more calls to domestic violence hot lines.

The news conference is "an appeal to say enough's enough, everyone needs to step up and stop the violence," she said.

People often aren't sure what to do if they know about a violent relationship in their family or in the community, Eft said.

"I hear so many times from people, 'If I hear fighting in the next apartment, what should I do?' It doesn't occur to people to call 911."

Victims should know how to create a safety plan, and be aware that confidential services are available. Spouses and partners of police officers should know that if they need help, they don't have to go to the police, she said.

"You can call us, you can call the state hot line, you can call the YWCA, you can call the Korean Women's Association," she said. "Any of those people can get you into a network of services for what's appropriate for you."

Lisa Kremer: 253-597-8658

lisa.kremer@mail.tribnet.com

Where victims can call for help

• Statewide domestic violence hot line: 1-800-562-6025

• Family Renewal Shelter for Battered Women and Children: 253-475-9010

• Pierce County Domestic Violence Helpline: 253-798-4166; 1-800-764-2420; TDD: 253-798-6050

• YWCA Women's Shelter: 253-383-2593

• Pierce County Clerk's Office (for domestic violence protection/antiharassment orders): 253-798-7455

• Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Domestic Violence Unit: 253-798-7446

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