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.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

LifeWire stands against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Manuel Ellis, as well as the countless others killed by police and perpetuated by systemic racial inequality in the United States. For over 400 years, Black and Brown mothers, fathers, children, brothers, and sisters have been victimized by inequity built into the very foundation of many American institutions.

As a DV organization, LifeWire knows that Black people have a disproportionate experience of violence across our communities. A staggering forty percent of Black women will face domestic violence in their lifetimes. They’re also two and a half times more likely to be murdered by men than their white counterparts.

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) face interconnected barriers in education, housing, job opportunities, and police brutality. Barriers faced by Black people stem from a long history of power structures, policies, and laws that favor White people, and these systems are harming all communities. When we come together as one community, with one voice, we have the power to inspire change and support a better future for all survivors.

Building a Safer World Together

LifeWire envisions a world in which every person lives in a safe environment, free from oppression and with the opportunity to thrive. Building a safer world means speaking out against the racial disparities inherent in our justice, housing, healthcare, education, and other systems.

Right now, people in our community and across the country are finally acknowledging racial justice is important. Together, we have an opportunity to begin having dialogue and healing.

We invite you to join our staff in learning about the history of racism and oppression in our country by reading one or more books from our Anti-Oppression reading list. White staff members also recently read and discussed this article on being an ally.

Ending violence against women and girls cannot happen until every person is treated with respect and dignity.

You’re saving lives

Silhouette of a woman in front of a window with the blinds shut Andrea connected with LifeWire last year through our partnership with Open Arms Perinatal Services. Her partner had physically abused her throughout the first two trimesters of her pregnancy and began beating her again shortly after she gave birth.

Andrea wanted to leave, but she needed somewhere to go. LifeWire connected Andrea with a local shelter. The temporary housing gave her time to find a place to stay with friends. Andrea agreed to cook, clean, and take care of their kids in exchange for room and board.

Things were going well for Andrea and her two kids until the COVID-19 crisis. The family Andrea lived with suffered a big financial setback when one parent lost a job and the other lost hours. They asked Andrea and her kids to leave, but Andrea didn’t have any place to go. Continue reading “You’re saving lives”

The impossible choice of homelessness or living with an abuser

Woman holding infant

“Ana” fled her abuser and found help at LifeWire 10 months ago. LifeWire helped her get safe, find housing, and covered the first few months’ rent until she found a stable job.

When Ana’s employer closed in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, Ana feared eviction would leave her and her newborn homeless. Her abusive partner said he could pay, so Ana made the difficult decision to allow him back in (before the state stayed evictions.)

He is extremely controlling and abusive. Ana can only contact her legal advocate, by email, while he is asleep. Ana and her advocate hope she’ll soon get a protection order and appear in court by phone.

Survivors like Ana need your support to ensure they have access to legal and housing resources they need to live safer lives. Show your support today and give the gift of safety.