Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Action Month (DVAM). It’s an opportunity to take time to connect and unite individuals and organizations working to end domestic violence. Over the last four decades, we have made significant progress by bringing the issue of domestic violence out of the shadows and working towards a society where everyone is free from abuse. There is much left to do. We hope you’ll join us in building safer communities.

Domestic violence is the use of emotional, psychological, physical, technological, sexual, reproductive, and/or economic abuse by one person in a current or former intimate relationship to maintain power and control over the other person. Domestic violence knows no boundaries. People of all ages, genders, cultures, religions, professions and income levels experience domestic violence. However, racism, poverty, immigration status, and other inequities can make the risks even more severe.

There are many reasons a survivor will stay with their abuser. Leaving can end the violence. When it doesn’t, the violence may become worse. Nearly half of women murdered by men in the U.S. had left or were trying to leave an abusive relationship. This is a powerful deterrent to leaving. Abuse may also leave survivors financially dependent upon their abuser and isolated from friends and family who could offer help and support.

LifeWire invites you to join us in proclaiming October as DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACTION MONTH. Every year LifeWire is joined by our respective mayors from all the cities we serve on the east side in honoring DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACTION MONTH by promoting peace in our own families, homes, and communities. These cities renew their commitment to end domestic violence and its brutal and destructive effects – in every city, every town, and every corner of America. These commitments are made through the mayors proclaiming the month of October 2022 as DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACTION MONTH.

2022 Impact Report

You Make a Difference for Survivors

Dear Friends,

When survivors and families in our community face violence and abuse at the hands of someone they love, they turn to LifeWire for help. In 1982, LifeWire started out as Eastside Domestic Violence Program, an all-volunteer crisis line. In 1998, we began providing emergency shelter and transitional housing services, and we have increased capacity annually to meet the growing need for critical services in our community.

Today, we are celebrating 40 Years of Service—providing direct services to over 3,300 survivors annually. We are the most comprehensive domestic violence (DV) service agency in Washington State and the largest DV housing provider in King County—providing emergency and relocation services for survivors and their children who would otherwise have to remain in an abusive household or become homeless.

Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children in the nation. LifeWire launched the Hope Starts Here Capital Campaign in 2018 to address this issue. Thanks to LifeWire’s generous donors and supportive community, we completed the Campaign in May 2022, having raised $15.75M to purchase a 25-unit apartment complex, provide ADA-accessible apartments, and build a services office in one central location.

This fall, we will move homeless survivors and their families into their new apartments, creating a vibrant community with on-site services and easy access to transportation, schools, and additional resources. We will increase housing access for survivors and children in our community who are facing the greatest safety risks and highest barriers to safe housing.

We have made great strides, but there is still more work to be done. As we recover from COVID-19 and economic uncertainty, the need for LifeWire services continues to grow in numbers and intensity. Time and time again, we have faced the need for change head-on and embraced the opportunity to be a leader in the mission to end domestic violence.

This year, LifeWire is transitioning to new leadership who will continue to move this incredible organization forward. We are committed to providing every possible resource to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of the survivors we serve.

Thank you for all the ways you help LifeWire! Through your generosity, LifeWire can provide the support and resources that survivors and their children need to build safer, more stable lives. Thank you!

Gratefully,

Rebecca Houghton
LifeWire Board President
Brian Hughes,
LifeWire Interim Executive Director

SURVIVOR STORIES

Leaving The Cycle of Domestic Violence and Homelessness

While Lucia was working on getting her green card, she was experiencing
extensive physical violence. The police were called to her home, but her abuser accused Lucia of domestic violence, and because he had scratches on his arms from her self-defense attempts, he falsely accused her of DV, got a no-contact order, and removed her from their home.


Lucia was homeless and living in the park when another participant
brought her to LifeWire. She was terrified. Her abuser was threatening
to harm or kill her daughters in Mexico, and she was in danger of having her green card application denied due to the DV charges. We brought Lucia
into our shelter as she needed a safe, a confidential place to stay, and paired her with a Spanish-speaking advocate. Together, they worked tirelessly with the prosecutor’s office to get the false charges dismissed.


Finally, her immigration process was back on track, and she got a work permit. We reunited her with her daughters, and the family is now prospering. Lucia and her oldest daughter have jobs; her youngest
daughter is in school. They feel safe. They have enough income to pay their rent and are looking for a new apartment using LifeWire’s Rapid Rehousing
Program and the Address Confidentiality Program. Through LifeWire’s confidential services, Lucia and her children have created a safe and happy home.

Lucia

“I didn’t see a way out. LifeWire helped me find safety, security, and hope.”

Lucia, Survivor

Hope Starts Here

For five years, LifeWire supported Anna with advocacy and counseling while she and her children lived in an abusive household. Her husband isolated and controlled her, refused to let her seek sobriety support, and never let her be alone with her children. It was simply not safe for her to leave. LifeWire advocates worked with Anna to create a Safety Plan and provided emotional and practical support so that she could plan for how she and her children might one day escape their situation.


On March 18, 2022, Anna drove away from that abusive home with her children. They were able to move into LifeWire’s transitional housing, My Friend’s Place, where survivors who are parenting and struggling with substance use can heal and rebuild their lives. Anna called her advocate on the way to say how amazing it felt just to be in the car, alone with her two children, for the first time in years. For now, Anna
and her children are sharing one bedroom. But, later this year, they will move into their own private Hope Starts Here (HSH) Apartment with access to schools, grocery
stores, parks, and playgrounds at our new facility.


Anna and her two children.

“For the first time in a very long time, I’m looking forward to the future. LifeWire saved my life.”

Anna, Survivor

Turning To LifeWire For Help

When Angela found out she was expecting her first child, she was thrilled. She thought everything was “fine” with her marriage until the arguing, insults, and visits to the emergency room began. Every night she would become afraid when she heard the key turn in the lock, knowing that her partner was home from work.


One weekend, when Angela’s husband violently assaulted her in front of her young son, she called LifeWire. Her advocate helped her file a police report and a protection order and moved Angela and her son into a confidential hotel while the police searched for her abuser. After he was arrested, she was able to break her lease and move to a safe, confidential apartment.


At LifeWire, she found a safe place where she could talk with a mental health therapist and begin to heal from the recurring anxiety brought on by being traumatized and abused. Today, Angela has a healthy three-year-old son, works at a job she loves, and is living in her own apartment. Angela credits LifeWire with this powerful transformation.

Angela and her son

“It’s important to know there’s a safe place for survivors to go to, a place to heal and overcome the trauma they have experienced,” she explains.
“It helps to talk with someone that really understands what that fear and betrayal feel like.

Angela, Survivor