Spokane Mayor David Condon, Police Chief Craig Meidl and Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer issued the following statement supporting victims of domestic violence, and giving them a voice:

“As local leaders we support giving victims a voice. It is our jobs and responsibilities to make sure we provide a safe place in our neighborhoods, communities, places of work, and other places we congregate for victims to speak up and advocates to speak out.

The allegations are very serious. Violence against women is a problem plaguing our country and dominating headlines nationally, and Spokane is no different. Too many women are victims and we have more speaking up every day.

This is not an easy discussion. It will take time and many more steps forward, but we must continue to stand against violence and for the voice of victims in our community.

As leaders of a city government, police department and fire department, we have taken steps to increase reporting options, make victims more comfortable coming forward, and protecting them when they are courageous enough to speak up. The police department has partnered with the YWCA to open the Family Justice Center, a center of excellence that puts victim assistance, advocacy, enforcement, and prosecution together in one location. Police officers visit offenders in jail and follow up with victims in their homes to make sure they continue to get the assistance and support they need through the prosecution process.

As much as we would like, change does not happen overnight. It will require a determination and diligence that we will continue to lead and demand that others join.”