Dating Violence and Prevention

Five teens talking and laughing while sitting outside on a brick wall

Dating abuse is a big problem in the U.S. One in 3 teens will experience dating violence, and 1 in 5 will experience severe physical violence from a dating partner. The numbers are even higher for LGBTQ youth. Young people who experience dating violence are more likely than their peers to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, engage in unhealthy or antisocial behaviors, and think about suicide.

The easiest way to stop dating or domestic violence is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Everyone can help prevent violence, including parents, teachers, clergy, coaches, friends, and family.

We put together three things you can do to help prevent dating violence.

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DV and Virtual Mental Health Services

Black woman with long braided hair wearing plaid shirt and sweater sits at a table looking at a notebook and laptop

A year ago, survivors seeking mental health support from LifeWire had several options—one on one therapy, music therapy, and support groups. When the pandemic closed LifeWire’s office, our mental health therapists immediately adapted to working with survivors online or by phone. The shift has come with its challenges and benefits for survivors.

Many survivors who reach out for therapy and support still live in homes that are not safe places. Some survivors have had to postpone therapy because they lacked safe spaces to talk. Therapists brainstorm with survivors about how and where to hold virtual sessions. For survivors, that can mean having a phone call instead of a video chat, sitting in their car instead of their home, or shifting their session to a time when they have the most privacy.

Virtual sessions can make it harder for survivors and therapists to build trust and safety. In-person sessions make it easier for the therapist and survivor to read each other’s facial and body language. They’re also held in a benign location away from the places where violence occurs. Technology can also be an issue, whether it’s accessing stable WI-FI or learning how to use new software.

Despite these challenges, remote therapy sessions and groups have added benefits. Transportation is no longer a barrier to making an appointment. Survivors also don’t have to worry about finding childcare. Most importantly, remote therapy helps survivors mitigate the isolation of coping with domestic violence and COVID-19.

Domestic violence, mob violence, a call for justice

White LifeWire logo on teal background

As a Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) member, LifeWire echoes their statement about last week’s violent and racist attacks on democracy at the U.S. and Washington State Capitols.

“Survivors of abuse and survivor advocates recognize and understand the tactics that are being used by some elected officials, including the President, and extremist supporters: intimidation, gaslighting, use of privilege to avoid arrest or other consequences, violence, and then denying, victim-blaming, and minimizing. People who use abusive tactics often feel entitled to power and control over others. If no one holds them accountable for their abuse, they are emboldened and escalate their violence as a result. This is what allows domestic and sexual violence to continue in our society. Therefore, we refuse to be silent.”

We encourage you to take a moment to read WSCADV’s full statement.

Economic Abuse: Signs and Prevention

Table with empty wallet and a stick note with words financial abuse.

What is Economic Abuse?

When people think about domestic abuse, most people think about verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. Few people think about economic or financial abuse. Economic abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse, occurring in 99% of domestic violence situations.

Economic abuse occurs when one partner controls another’s ability to be financially independent. The lack of financial control or resources often prevents survivors from leaving.

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Domestic Violence and Evictions

Paper copy of eviction notice on brown front door with brass door handle

COVID-19 and evictions

Nationally, one in three renters risks eviction because of financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers are likely higher for survivors of domestic violence. Even before the pandemic, survivors, especially BIPOC women, were especially vulnerable to eviction because most have experienced financial abuse. Women who have experienced recent or ongoing domestic violence are more likely to face eviction than any other group of women. And Black women face evictions at least three times the rate of other survivors.

COVID-related layoffs, reduced hours, sickness, and the loss of affordable child care have made things worse. Survivors who can no longer afford rent are worried about becoming homeless when Washington’s eviction moratorium ends on December 31 {Update: now extended to September 30, 2021}. Thanks to flexible funds from local governments, foundations, and individuals, LifeWire has provided many survivors with rental assistance, reducing their chance of becoming homeless in the coming months. Even so, too many survivors will face eviction in 2021.

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