Team Up Washington

Team Up Washington Logo in front of a soccer field
We are excited to announce the launch of Team Up Washington, a partnership between LifeWire, Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress. The new initiative uses sports as a platform to prevent violence by empowering student athletes to be leaders at their high schools and in their communities.

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Leaving an abusive relationship when you live together

Teal door opening to the outside

If you’ve decided it’s time to leave an abusive relationship, you may be wondering what to do next. Whether the abuse was emotional, physical, or both, it’s a good idea to plan for how to move on safely.

Before we get into that, take a moment to acknowledge how strong you are for taking care of your needs. It’s not always easy to recognize and take action when we’re being treated poorly. You deserve to be treated with love and respect, and you’ve already taken the first step on that path.

So here are some things to consider as you move forward:

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Domestic Violence and Mental Health

Woman standing with her eyes closed looking sad

Anna started seeing LifeWire’s Mental Health Therapist because she was experiencing symptoms of severe trauma. She felt numb and disoriented, had trouble focusing at work, and was having panic attacks.

Abuse, whether physical or psychological, can affect survivors’ mental health. People who experience trauma because of domestic violence are at significantly higher risk for PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Survivors may also try to escape pain and depression with substance use or consider suicide. Continue reading “Domestic Violence and Mental Health”

Why I Give: Sandy Noll

Sandy Noll smilingGrowing up in a middle class family in the suburbs, where kids played from sun-up to sun-down, I couldn’t imagine that life wasn’t perfect in every home. I didn’t know that kids I went to school with suffered at the hands of a parent, or watched a parent be abused. It wasn’t until I was in my late 40’s and reconnected with a high school friend, who lived in an abusive home as a child, did I realize how prevalent DV is.

Having been a single mom for most of my adult life, I have struggled financially at times. I have couch surfed for months on end, finally realizing I was “homeless.” I have sold personal items on Craigslist to pay for a tank of gas so I could meet my clients. I can’t even imagine going through any of what I did, fearful an abuser would some how get to me.
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Abuse and PTSD

Black and white photo of a woman with her eyes close holding her hands to face,
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so we’re turning our attention to one of the most common mental health issues affecting survivors of domestic abuse: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop in people who have experienced (either directly or indirectly) a scary, shocking, or dangerous event. We often think about PTSD in relation to combat veterans, but it’s also common among survivors of domestic violence and other types of abuse.

Everyone experiences trauma in their own way. If two people experience the same traumatic event, it’s possible for one of them to develop PTSD and not the other. Any traumatic event can cause PTSD, whether it was an isolated incident like a sexual assault, or long-term trauma like an abusive relationship. If you’re concerned you or someone you know may have developed PTSD, read on to learn more. Continue reading “Abuse and PTSD”