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A call to end domestic violence: Agencies, leaders show support at Kent rally
Every year, 11,000 victims of domestic violence in King County turn to the legal system for help, according to Dan Satterberg.
But, as the King County Prosecutor said last Friday on the sunny steps of Kent's Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center, he can only wonder how many more people are too afraid to call or come forward.
Especially given that one of every three murders committed in King County every year is a domestic violence crime.
"We know that domestic violence is a vastly underreported crime," Satterberg said. "The reality is that many, many more people live every day under the threat of harm, and under the threat of death."
Police officers from the King County Sheriff's Office, Auburn, Kent, Federal Way and other South King agencies, domestic violence advocates, treatment providers, survivors, attorneys from the King County Prosecutor's Office and municipal prosecutor's offices, attended the rally against domestic violence sponsored by the Auburn Domestic Violence Task Force.
Parked on the large sidewalk in front of the RJC entrance was a line of patrol cars from other South King County agencies. All of the officers who came displayed the purple ribbon in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Satterberg addressed the efforts of law enforcement, legislators and the community response to the growing problem of human trafficking and its proliferation through domestic violence.
"The reality of domestic violence is that the greatest predictor of lethality is a prior act of violence," Satterberg said. "Other risk factors out there ... include chronic unemployment and access to firearms. But the greatest predictor of domestic violence is a prior act of any sort of violence. And that's why we take any sort of violence so seriously. We can't predict which of today's misdemeanors is tomorrow's homicide, but we know that that is a common denominator of all homicides."
The Domestic Violence Unit of the King County Prosecutor's Office also presented the 15th annual Norm Maleng Law Enforcement Award to King County Sheriff's Marshall Danielle Bentley and Detective Don Wittmer in recognition of their efforts to fight domestic violence.
"Domestic violence is only going to be able to be illuminated and eradicated with our whole team," Satterberg said. "But we especially honor you today, first responders, who have to come out every time one of those 11,000 calls per year is made. We're counting on you in the first instance to bring peace to the community and to bring victim safety to victims."