Fact: Domestic violence, which often leads to instability, is a leading cause of family homelessness.
Longtime Wellspring therapist Mark Adams addressed the complexities of this thorny reality and facilitated a robust Q&A session in the first of the new community education series called “Conversations on Family Homelessness.” The events on Oct. 11 and 17 attracted dozens of people eager to listen, learn and engage in a discussion on the impact of domestic violence on the more than 8,400 children and their families currently experiencing homelessness in King County.
The focus of Wellspring’s Domestic Violence Intervention Program is the safety of women and children. With that goal in mind, Mark shared with event attendees the positive choice presented to each of the hundreds of men who have participated in the recovery program: “Are there ways in which I can think about choices I can make to mitigate some of those negative impacts on my children and do things that are more likely to help promote resiliency in them and recovery from the impact of those things versus making it worse on my children, my spouse (partner) and myself?”
Fifty percent of Wellspring’s client families are now experiencing or have experienced domestic violence. The organization’s domestic violence intervention program currently serves 50 clients.
“One of the practical, takeaway truths we want the men in our program to use with their partners is a phrase we call, ‘Using our EARS.’” Adams explained that it’s an acronym for:
Empathy – How am I demonstrating I’m interacting with you?
Accountability – In what ways am I taking responsibility for my thoughts and feelings?
Respect -- How am I demonstrating my respect for your right to choose and make decisions, even though I may not agree with them?
Safety – Am I acting, speaking and communicating to our kids in ways you can feel
more safe and comfortable?