It is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a yearly push to support victims, but one local group says enough with awareness — it’s time to take action.
It’s a daily game of ‘cat and mouse’ for Deputy Ryan Phillips and the rest of the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force. Tracking down fugitives like Lance Arnold. He’s wanted for violating a domestic violence ‘no contact order’.
These officers take even misdemeanor DV cases like his very seriously — and for good reason. “What we’re seeing is that 1 in 3 women in our state have experienced some sort of abuse in their lives.” Kelly Starr with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence says while homicides are down nationwide, domestic violence murders are not. Just this year, a Bellevue woman was stabbed more than 70 times in her home. The suspect is her ex-husband.
“We’re falling short in a lot of areas,” says Starr. “One of the main areas is holding abusers accountable for the violence.” Starr says only a fraction of 911 calls end up with the abuser being arrested and only a small percentage of those have charges filed. “What that means is that people just get the message that this isn’t going to be taken seriously. I’m not going to be stopped for this behavior, I’m not going to be called out on it and that’s a very dangerous message.
So instead of calling October Domestic Violence Awareness Month, she prefers Domestic Violence Action Month, and encourages you to start a conversation about healthy relationships. “Whether you are talking about it or not, we all know someone who has been impacted by DV and this is something we can do something about. It is preventable and so to me, in the tragedy, there’s also so much hope that this is really something that we can change behavior.”
She points out anyone can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Lance Arnold is still wanted. If you know where he is, call an anonymous tip into:
CRIME STOPPERS: 1-800-222-TIPS
You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.
CLICK HERE for information on how to TEXT A TIP to Crime Stoppers