Through our Community Advocacy Program, we offer personal support and advocacy to those affected by domestic violence. Participants work toward their own goals. The program serves people who are still with a violent partner, as well as those who have left.
In addition to one-to-one support, we offer support groups (including a chemical dependency group), legal advocacy, parenting classes and referrals to community resources.
Interpreters are provided for all services, and all services are free.
In 2011, the Community Advocacy Program served over 550 adults (mostly women and a few men) and over 250 young people. Over 250 women attended support groups. In addition to those served in the program, over 350 additional callers received legal advocacy services.
New Beginnings sponsors weekly support groups in several neighborhoods in Seattle and Shoreline. These groups are open to women who are working to end intimate partner abuse in their own lives. Support groups provide a safe time and place to share difficult thoughts and feelings, an opportunity to help others, and new understandings about abuse and strategies for change.
Meetings include discussion topics as well as time for sharing. Women are not required to share any information unless and until they feel comfortable doing so. Stage one topics include power and control, barriers to leaving, red flags, communication skills and assertiveness, coping mechanisms, grief and loss, self esteem and anger.
Stage two groups provide continuing support for women who want to explore these topics further and who value continuing support while working through difficult changes.
Working with women with young children is such a joy. To see these young women get into recov0ery and know their children are benefiting each day they continue to stay sober as they walk the road of their new journey, makes the harder days worth it.
Cindy Obtinario, Chemical Dependency Specialist
A weekly drop-in group offers support for women whose lives have been dually impacted by domestic violence and chemical dependency.
Most all of the women I work with are unrepresented in the legal system. I know what I do is effective when my client is strong and remains positive through very challenging legal steps. She's active in pursuing resources, and my connections in the system are working to help her achieve her goals.
Pam Smith Mentz, Legal Advocate
A legal advocate provides assistance and access to resources for civil and criminal issues, including protection orders and parenting concerns.
Parenting classes are especially designed for parents whose children have lived with domestic violence.