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Combating domestic violence

DAWN supports, empowers and shelters survivors

A little girl who lived in a DAWN shelter left this message. Photo credit: DAWN

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In this country today, one in three women and one in four men have been -- or are being -- abused by an intimate partner.

The Domestic Abuse Women's Network (DAWN) works to help the survivors of this tragedy.

With offices located in Kent, DAWN was formed by two women after helping a friend escape an abusive situation.

"They initially set up a crisis line that soon expanded into various programs to include advocacy, shelter and prevention programing," explained Annie Ramirez, director of partnerships and fundraising.

"Our mission to provide the service that empower individuals, families and communities to live safe and compassionate lives."

DAWN is one of two 100 percent confidential domestic violence (DV) shelters in King County, and it is one of the few that accepts pets.

"The sense of confidentiality is key when a survivor family is fleeing an abuser who is in a position of power, such as a police officer, lawyer or fire-fighter," continued Ramirez.

In 2018, DAWN provided 7,615 services to survivors; it served 930 women, 116 men and 202 children.

Meet Katie -- a survivor.

The man in her life became an abuser when she made a decision to take a different route to work than the one he wanted her to take. He punched her in the head while she was driving on the freeway with their infant daughter in the back seat.

Soon after, Katie made a dinner that her abuser did not want, so he grabbed her by the hair, threw her down, kicked her and blocked the door to prevent her from leaving.

Next morning, he took her car to keep her from leaving. Acting on what she knew about DAWN, Katie packed a small bag, buckled her infant daughter into a stroller, and walked out of the situation to seek and receive safe haven at DAWN.

A month later at a meeting asked for by the abuser under the pretense of establishing a parenting plan, he raped Katie.

"After a few months, she moved to transitional housing and was slowly able to piece her life back together," continued Ramirez. "Today, she gives inspirational talks throughout the community in an effort to raise awareness about (domestic violence) and to inspire survivors currently going through similar situations."

She also plans on becoming an attorney.

In fulfilling its mission last fiscal year, DAWN expended 90 percent of the funds donated to it through the Combined Federal Campaign, or CFC.

"Please help us support, empower and shelter survivors of domestic abuse," concluded Ramirez.

DAWN's CFC donation number is 88048.

For more information, visit, or call 253.893.1600.

For those in need, DAWN's 24-hour advocacy and support number is 425.656.7867.

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