Domestic violence is not a Native tradition and it affects everyone in our community. Whether we are in an abusive relationship, have been in the past, know someone who is or have witnessed it as a child, chances are it has touched all of our lives. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used by an individual to establish and maintain control over another family member or intimate partner. It includes physical, sexual, psychological and/or emotional abuse. This includes:
- Threats of physical harm
- Isolation from family and friends
- Forced sexual contact
- Told you have to earn love
- Destruction of property or pets
- Name calling and put downs
Children and teens are also affected by domestic violence through witnessing it or by experiencing their own abusive relationships. Children may regress to show behaviors they had when younger such as thumb sucking or bed-wetting. They may show aggressive behavior or be overly compliant. Children and teens are often injured trying to protect a parent and sometimes blame themselves for the violence. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians started the Community Domestic Violence Advocacy Program (CDVAP) in 1997 with one staff person. The program has grown to 11 staff. This year the Tribe contracted with one professional to start domestic violence treatment. Last year the Tribe opened a shelter to assist women and children fleeing abusive situations. CDVAP has also added services for children, youth and abusive individuals.
The CDVAP assists families affected by domestic violence by providing the following services: assist victims and survivors of domestic violence with accessing shelter, orders of protection, court accompaniment, safety planning and support groups, as well as information and referrals to other community resources. Services recently added include a state certified, culturally relevant domestic violence treatment program, children’s groups, youth violence prevention, and community education regarding the effects of domestic and dating violence on children and youth. If you or your family is experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, or if you would like information about our program, please call (253) 680-5499.
No one deserves to be abused. We are here to help.