We are training Interpersonal Abuse Prevention Champions across Island County to better recognize and respond to abusive situations. Champions learn skills to go out into their own professional or social communities and train others.
"Training of Champions" are scheduled as there is interest. Contact Nicole Marley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-678-7935 for more details.
Violence and abuse are critical health problems throughout the United States, however their effects in rural environments such as Island County are often exacerbated by limited access to support services for victims, transportation barriers, the stigma of abuse, lack of availability of shelters and poverty as a barrier to care.
Additionally, small communities may be challenged by an overlap among healthcare providers, law enforcement officers, and abuse victims. Some people may be reluctant to report abuse, fearing that their concerns will not be taken seriously or that their reputations may be damaged. (5)
From the outset, members of the Interpersonal Abuse Workgroup acknowledged concerns about the absence of a community-wide response that addresses the issue of interpersonal violence across the lifespan in Island County.
Healthy Youth Survey results in 2014 revealed that 31.9% of Island County youth in tenth-grade said they had every been physically hurt on purpose by and adult vis. 26.4 % reported statewide. The Island County Sheriff's reports yielded that 23% of the county's assault cases involved reports of domestic violence or abuse, and that current data collections systems likely grossly underestimate the true incidence.
Group members also expressed concern about the lack of available data concerning Island County seniors and reports of abuse, given that 29% of Island County's population is made up of people age 60 and above (4.)
As a result, the group determined that they would pursue the creation of a diverse coalition dedicated to addressing abuse in Island County; and to build engagement among these stakeholders to address the issue from a long-term perspective. Additionally, they would adopt a community-wide curriculum and provide training for those working with children, adults and seniors to increase knowledge about the signs of abuse and recommended strategies to link individuals and families with needed services and support.
Cynde Robinson, CADA
Julie Spangler, CADA
Chloe Whittaker, CADA
Holly Grason, CHAB
Nicole Marley, Island County Public Health
Sharon Bell, Toddler Learning Center
Celeste Fikjes, DSHS
Tara Hizon, Island County Human Services
Ron Lawler, Oak Harbor Family Bible Church
Pat McMahon, South Whidbey Emergency Medical Services
Laura Price, Island County Sheriff's Office
Contact Nicole Marley for additional details