Hope and Power

Last Friday, 13 women gathered in LifeWire’s Large Conference Room – each one beaming with pride. It was Hope and Power graduation day.

Hope and Power – a 10-week course aimed at helping survivors of domestic violence rebuild from financial abuse and gain important skills to reach financial stability – was developed by the YWCA. This year, the course was offered to LifeWire participants.

Financial abuse is a significant part of survivors’ experiences with domestic violence. It occurs in 98% of abusive relationships, yet its effects on survivors’ safety and well-being often remain hidden.

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International Women’s Day: LifeWire’s Icons

Today, we celebrate women.

The thousands of women who have the courage to come to us each year in the hopes of building safer and more fulfilling lives for themselves and their children.

The women who, 35 years ago, allied together with local leaders to fight against injustice and start the organization we now know as LifeWire.

We come together today – on International Women’s Day – to celebrate the women who have shaped our lives and whose paths to greatness have guided our own.

In honor of International Women’s Day, LifeWire staff members were asked to nominate our own personal icons – women leaders who inspire and motivate us with their words and their stories.

Here are the four who rose to the top.

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Celebrating V-Day

There are 10 women who live at My Friend’s Place – LifeWire’s transitional housing shelter.

All 10 women are mothers. All are survivors of domestic violence.

Last week, the women gathered together in their communal living room with a LifeWire advocate for support group.

The back wall of the room had a piece of paper taped to it with nine words written across the top:

My Personal Bill of Rights in a Healthy Relationship.

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We Have Dreams: What MLK Day Means to Us

I have a dream. That my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Last week, 11-year-old Brian was asked to bring this famous quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to life. He started by drawing a large circle, colored in blotches of green and blue to represent our earth. Slowly, he started adding stick figures around the globe. Some were black, some were white, some were brown. All of them were standing arm in arm in unity.

Brian’s picture is in a scrapbook, along with other hand-drawn images from children who attend LifeWire’s weekly support group. The images were drawn as part of a “We Have Dreams” project – each one meant to breathe life into the dynamic words of Dr. King’s famous speech, delivered on August 28, 1963.

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