October is Domestic Violence Action Month

Over the last three decades, we have made significant progress in bringing the issue of domestic violence out of the shadows and working towards a society where everyone is free from abuse. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put many people experiencing domestic violence at greater risk than ever before. Stay-home orders and economic stresses have increased vulnerability and isolation for survivors, resulting in increased frequency and severity of abuse. At LifeWire we are seeing:

  • Record number of requests for assistance through our website
  • Significant increase in the number of requests for protection orders
  • More serious injuries
  • More lethality indicators, including threats with firearms and strangulation
  • Increase in abuse that children witness at home
  • Increase in the number of survivors re-engaging with us due to renewed safety concerns

And there are community indicators as well, including yesterday’s announcement that there have already been 13 domestic homicides in King County this year, twice as many as in a typical year. So, what can you do?

Learn about Domestic Violence

Everyone has a role to play in creating healthy, safe and vibrant communities. Be a source of information about domestic and dating violence. Start with our website to learn facts about domestic violence and why people stay. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Join us for our free DVAM events

RSVP for one of our DVAM events. On October 14th, we’re hosting a virtual DV101 Training for young people, parents, and adults who work with young people. On October 24th, join us for our World of Hope Virtual Gala and Auction.

Practice healthy relationship skills

There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, but healthy relationships are based on mutual respect, trust, open communication, equality, support, and safety. Take time to talk with the people you love about how you want to be treated and how you will treat them. If you need help starting the conversation, download “How’s Your Relationship?” cards from Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV).

Be supportive

If you think someone close to you is experiencing abuse, the most important thing you can do is to listen and withhold judgment. Survivors may not be ready to share everything with you, so connect in ways that are comfortable for them. If you don’t know what to say, we’ve put together a list of helpful things you can say and ask and WSCADV has a downloadable Friends and Family Guide on how to help someone in an abusive relationship. Most of all – stay in touch. Isolation is one of the most powerful tools abusive partners have to control survivors.

DV 101 Virtual Training

Squares on a teal background with the words DV 101, Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Join LifeWire’s Prevention and Youth Advocates from 6 P.M. – 7:30 P.M. on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, for an engaging and interactive virtual training on dating and domestic violence. The training is free and open to young people (ages 14-24), parents, and adults who work with young people. Each participant will need their own device.

Registration is closed. To learn more about how you can help young people in your life, visit our Helping Young People page. If you are a young person wondering if what you’re experiencing is dating violence, visit our Help for Teens page.

A Home of Her Own

Layla’s husband controlled just about every part of her life. She had a part-time job because he wouldn’t let her work full-time—it was harder to monitor her when she worked. He controlled not only her paycheck, but all of their money. Her name wasn’t even on their accounts, and he made her beg when she needed to buy essentials like food, soap, or toilet paper.

Layla felt isolated and cut off from her family and friends. He didn’t let them visit and limited how much time Layla could spend on her phone and who she could call. Feeling alone, one day she used the phone at work to call LifeWire during her lunch break because she didn’t know who else to call.

With the help of her LifeWire housing stability advocate, Layla found a new apartment close to work. Flexible funds paid for her first month’s rent, giving her the financial flexibility she needed to leave her abuser and find safety. As a Black woman with limited credit and banking history, the temporary financial assistance offered Layla a path forward to achieving stability. Layla has started working full-time and is able to support herself and enjoy her growing career and personal freedom.

Confident Black woman wearing peach shirt looking at camera