October is Domestic Violence Action Month

Over the last three decades, we have made significant progress in bringing the issue of domestic violence out of the shadows and working towards a society where everyone is free from abuse. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put many people experiencing domestic violence at greater risk than ever before. Stay-home orders and economic stresses have increased vulnerability and isolation for survivors, resulting in increased frequency and severity of abuse. At LifeWire we are seeing:

  • Record number of requests for assistance through our website
  • Significant increase in the number of requests for protection orders
  • More serious injuries
  • More lethality indicators, including threats with firearms and strangulation
  • Increase in abuse that children witness at home
  • Increase in the number of survivors re-engaging with us due to renewed safety concerns

And there are community indicators as well, including yesterday’s announcement that there have already been 13 domestic homicides in King County this year, twice as many as in a typical year. So, what can you do?

Learn about Domestic Violence

Everyone has a role to play in creating healthy, safe and vibrant communities. Be a source of information about domestic and dating violence. Start with our website to learn facts about domestic violence and why people stay. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Join us for our free DVAM events

RSVP for one of our DVAM events. On October 14th, we’re hosting a virtual DV101 Training for young people, parents, and adults who work with young people. On October 24th, join us for our World of Hope Virtual Gala and Auction.

Practice healthy relationship skills

There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, but healthy relationships are based on mutual respect, trust, open communication, equality, support, and safety. Take time to talk with the people you love about how you want to be treated and how you will treat them. If you need help starting the conversation, download “How’s Your Relationship?” cards from Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV).

Be supportive

If you think someone close to you is experiencing abuse, the most important thing you can do is to listen and withhold judgment. Survivors may not be ready to share everything with you, so connect in ways that are comfortable for them. If you don’t know what to say, we’ve put together a list of helpful things you can say and ask and WSCADV has a downloadable Friends and Family Guide on how to help someone in an abusive relationship. Most of all – stay in touch. Isolation is one of the most powerful tools abusive partners have to control survivors.

Not everyone can safely make a call

Woman in kitchen looking down and typing on her phone
Our helpline is staffed 24/7, but not everyone can safely make the call.

“Beth” was worried about her safety. Washington’s “Stay home, stay safe” order reduced her chance of catching or spreading COVID-19, but it left her vulnerable to other dangers.

Her husband lost hours at work, which meant a smaller paycheck and more time trapped at home with him. While he never hurt her physically, the emotional abuse grew by the day, scaring Beth and their young daughter.

In her brief moments alone Beth reached out to LifeWire via email. Working with an advocate only through email Beth put together a safety plan and came up with ways to keep her and her daughter safer.

Become a lifeline for survivors like Beth now when they need it most and give today.

Domestic Violence and Emotional Support

Feminine hand holding feminine hand in comforting manner

Needing to talk

Joann felt overwhelmed. Her partner had never hurt her physically, but he was too controlling. He limited her access to money, pushed her friends and family away, and frequently told Joann she was crazy.

She wanted to talk with someone, to have someone listen to her concerns. But, Joann felt too embarrassed to bring it up to her sister or the friends she rarely saw, so she called LifeWire. Continue reading “Domestic Violence and Emotional Support”

Abuse happens in college too

woman holding text books with backpack on

Did you know that dating violence is a big problem on college campuses?

43% of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors including physical, sexual, technological, verbal, or controlling abuse. But it doesn’t just affect women. Dating violence happens in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and people of any gender can experience dating violence.

Continue reading “Abuse happens in college too”

Domestic Violence and What You Can Do

Purple flower on black background, four ways you can take action against domestic violenceSafe and healthy families are the key to ensuring safe and vibrant communities. We each have the power to change our culture of violence to one of kindness and compassion through words and our actions. Here are ways you can help build a world free from violence where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Continue reading “Domestic Violence and What You Can Do”