Table of Contents:   

INTRODUCTION «   
ECONOMY «   
EDUCATION «   
ENVIRONMENT «   
GOVERNMENT «   
HEALTH «   
PUBLIC SAFETY «   
SOCIAL ISSUES «   
TRANSPORTATION «   
URBAN LIVABILITY «    

SOCIAL ISSUES:
Abuse

 



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Abuse exists and must be confronted and stopped.

Section Summary

Fewer respondents shared their thoughts on the issue of abuse than on other subjects, but those who did comment had strong opinions and specific strategies for change. Many people appreciate the amount of services that exist in Portland for individuals and families who seek services for abuse-related issues. Existing services valued by respondents were for domestic violence, sex abuse, child and elder abuse and neglect and drug and alcohol addictions. Others are certain that more services need to be offered in these focus areas, including the abuse of animals.

People appreciate the many businesses that support services in this field, but many people think that there should be more support from businesses and government. They believe that more evaluation of services needs to occur to identify what services are missing and who is not receiving necessary services. People also think that confronting our community’s root causes of social issues will help alleviate the impacts of long-term problems such as high rates and costs of jailing youth, people of color, and those who experience poverty. Some also suggest more services that focus on prevention through investing in young people and children, and helping people overcome poverty.

Summary of Main Ideas

  1. Some people value existing services for those experiencing abuse and political support for abuse-related issues.
  2. People call for more services, and new services based on best practices, that can work to reduce the abuse in the community.
  3. Businesses and government can play multiple roles in preventing abuse.
  4. Police abuse of power can be another potential form of victimization.
  5. There should be more efforts to target animal abuse and neglect.

Summary of Tensions and Disagreements

  1. Is there a need for more services and if so, then what should be prioritized?

MAIN IDEAS

  1. Some people value existing services for those experiencing abuse and political support for abuse-related issues.
  • In comparison to other topics, abuse was discussed by fewer numbers of respondents.
  • Abuse can be viewed as multiple forms of violence, whether physical, verbal, emotional, psychological, sexual or a combination thereof.
  • People express gratitude for the amount of abuse-related services that are available to the public.
  • Existing progressive politics that take hate crimes and violence seriously make Portland seem more comfortable and safe for groups and individuals vulnerable to attack.
  • While some people appreciate existing efforts to curb abuse and domestic violence, they believe even more can be done to build community-wide accountability for reporting and preventing abuse.
“[In 2030] …there will also be enough room in the shelters so no children or women running from domestic violence will have to sleep outside.”

“[In 2030] abused children have open group homes, with health care, so they don’t resort to street life and unwanted pregnancies.”

"[I value] progressive politics. Safety. Why? Well...because I am queer-identified and have a family. We appreciate our elected officials risks to support gay marriage, stronger sentences for those who initiate hate-crimes (based on race as well as gender and sexual orientation) ... Additionally, I was born and raised in FL where murders/shootings and other violent crimes were the norm. I like that I can take walks at night and not worry about my physical safety."

Sample Strategies:

  1. [In the future] “There is an accountability within communities to report abuse, mistreatment, extreme poverty and instead of families being ripped apart by DHS they are aggressively educated or encouraged to improve their situation with incentives or possibly even voluntarily give up their children for the greater good.”

  1. People call for more services, and new services based on best practices, that can work to reduce the abuse in the community.
  • Address safety, abuse and domestic violence issues, including human trafficking.
  • Prevent Asian women, elders, people with disabilities and other minorities from becoming targets of abuse.
  • People want to see more researched-based practices that address the root causes of abuse.
  • Some Portlanders spoke of wanting to prevent family cycles of abuse through:
    • Greater investment in young people and children at risk for abuse and violence;
    • Early childhood education and prevention programs that emphasize stopping cycles of family abuse and neglect; and
    • An increase in poverty reduction programs.
"I would have the policy makers, business associations and governmental bodies make a commitment to investing in programs that prevent and intervene in trauma, neglect and promote the social, emotional and physical health of our youngest and still developing citizens (children birth through 6 years).”

“Portland has a strong Early Childhood Community. I am interested in investment in our youngest citizens because that is where I believe we can stop cycles of abuse, neglect and poverty leading to a healthier community."

“I would like to see the problems of hard drug use, child abuse and sex offenses diminished.” supports their transition and continued self-reliance.”

Sample Strategies:

  1. “More being done to prevent sexual assault on young/teenage females in public middle/high schools. This is a huge problem that boys are inflicting upon their peers. There should be trainings on self-defense for teenage women. There should be abuse prevention programs that focus on changing the mindset of boys.”

  1. Businesses and government can play multiple roles in preventing abuse.
  • A small number of respondents noted that businesses offering family-wage jobs can help build a foundation for healthy families and communities.
  • They also believe that businesses should contribute financially to social services that address issues of abuse.
  • The government should also be responsible for providing long-term funding to such services.
  • The District Attorney’s office should have more of a role in protecting the safety of the aging population, women and people with disabilities.
“More funds for the DA office to protect elderly & women & disabled people.”


  1. Police abuse of power can be another potential form of victimization.
  • Many people recognize the need to confront the issue of harassment and abuse coming from local police targeting people of color and people experiencing poverty or homelessness.
  • Racial profiling is viewed as a violation of rights and safety of the individual, and respondents are especially concerned for young people of color.
"Less police abuse. More, better schools. More drug treatment, less prisons."


  1. There should be more efforts to target animal abuse and neglect.
  • A small number of people felt there needs to be more emphasis placed on curbing animal abuse and neglect.
"...Protect animals, women and children from abuse.”

Sample Strategies:

  1. Increase fines and jail time for people convicted of animal abuse or neglect.

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