Abby, Age 8

Abby's Vision Board
Abby’s Vision Board

By Jane Singer, Children’s Advocate

When Abby, age 8, entered our transitional housing program this summer, she was so excited to finally have a stable place to call home. After bouncing from shelter to shelter, she and her mom were finally able to settle down long enough to decorate her room and make real connections. Abby is one of the friendliest kids I’ve ever worked with, but the years of instability made her nervous, self-conscious and anxious to please. It’s been a joy to watch her grow comfortable enough to show her bright personality to the other children and adults here, and we’ve worked consistently in the children’s group and one-on-one to build her self-confidence.

One week in March, the children’s group members made vision boards for their rooms by choosing words that would inspire and motivate them. We went through nearly 150 words and I asked them to consider which qualities they felt they already had and which they wanted to have on their boards to encourage them. Most of the other kids chose just a few words, but Abby enthusiastically nodded and grabbed almost every word as we read and defined them. Her vision board ended up being huge—the largest piece of cardboard I had could barely contain all of the qualities she knew she contained.

After group, she excitedly took her board back to her mom and proudly showed her and the other ladies in the house each word. It was so heartwarming to see her in action, confidently describing herself in such positive terms.

Mental health therapy groups

Mental Health spelled out in Scrabble tilesMental health therapy can be key to helping a survivor heal from the emotional and often traumatizing effects of domestic violence. For many survivors, it is a crucial piece of recovery.

For many years, LifeWire has offered individual mental health therapy to survivors and their children as part of our advocacy services. And starting last year, LifeWire began to offer therapy groups in addition to individual support.

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Inspiring social change at Bellevue College

Ward Urion

Domestic violence prevention is a cornerstone of LifeWire’s work. Our Social Change Manager, Ward Urion, educates thousands of students, community leaders and faith leaders each year about the impact of domestic violence. He also equips them with tools they need for identifying, responding to, and preventing domestic violence in their homes and communities.

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