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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Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

Curly-haired woman in black looking down

DV and Sexual Assault

Did you know that sexual assault and domestic violence often go hand in hand? When we hear the term sexual assault, we often think of attacks by strangers. This isn’t always the case. In fact, around 33% of sexual assaults are committed by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

Intimate partner violence also tends to start young, during the “tween” or teenage years. The CDC reports that among survivors of sexual assault, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, more than 22% of female survivors and 15% of male survivors experienced intimate partner violence for the first time between the ages of 11 and 17. Between the ages of 18 and 24, those figures jump to nearly half of female survivors and one third of male survivors.

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Weathering the storms

Woman in winter clothing and hat standing in snowfall looking towards sun

Unexpected snow day

Debbie was excited when she moved into her own apartment in February. After a year living in shelters, she looked forward to a having a place of her own where she felt safe and could continue to heal.

But, the first morning Debbie woke up to several inches of snow. She didn’t know what to do. The neighborhood was unfamiliar and her fridge and cupboards were still bare.
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Children’s Services

Four kids

LifeWire offers individual advocacy and weekly support groups for children and youth who have witnessed abuse in their homes as well as for teens who have experienced violence in their own dating relationships. Often youth join our support groups because a parent is participating in LifeWire’s services or because they participated in one of our workshops in their school or community group. In 2017, 311 children and youth participated in LifeWire’s support groups.

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