All of us at LifeWire hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe during this health crisis. As a supporter of LifeWire’s work, we want to stay in touch and share an update about how our services and our survivors are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
LifeWire continues to serve survivors
LifeWire staff are doing everything possible to continue services for survivors and families in need. With creative planning and technology we are able to continue almost all of LifeWire’s services. Advocates and therapists meet with participants regularly by video or phone, our shelters are operated with a skeleton crew, and our helpline is staffed around the clock. We are seeing increased needs for food and housing assistance and increased safety needs as people are asked to stay at home.
LifeWire Caring Community Campaign
Beginning on April 6th we invite you to join us for our virtual LifeWire Caring Community Campaign. We will share stories of hope and resilience on our website, through social media, and via email in an effort to raise $500,000 to provide critical domestic violence services to survivors and their children.
LifeWire Gala postponed
We have rescheduled the World of Hope Gala & Auction to Friday, November 6, 2020. We hope you can join us! Registration is open on our event website. Many thanks to our sponsors, volunteers, donors, and guests for your continued support through these trying times.
Postponing the Gala & Auction will help keep our guests and volunteers safe, but it will limit the vital income needed to serve survivors and their families just as the need for services is more critical than ever.
Increased tensions and violence in the home
Survivors who live with an abusive partner are at increased risk of violence when everyone is forced to be at home together due to illness or quarantine. This health crisis is likely to force extended close contact between abusers, survivors, and their children, for a much longer and more intense duration than any of us have experienced.
Being at home together 24/7 also means that the windows of time when an abuser goes to work or otherwise leaves the home – the times when survivors usually reach out for help, support or make plans to flee – will be gone. Control will increase and survivors will become more isolated if abusers will not permit them to be in contact with friends, family, or other support. Survivors are also anxious about what will happen to their children during these times of increased tension, especially if the survivor becomes ill and is not able to protect or physically care for them.
LifeWire’s Legal Advocates are already being inundated with requests for help to obtain Domestic Violence Protection Orders from survivors who need help to get their abusive partners out of the home or who are afraid that their former abuser will come after them while they are isolated at home. We are answering requests and providing information to hospitals and the King County Courthouse, which have seen an increase in requests for domestic violence resources.
Many of the survivors we work with are employed in the food or hospitality industry and have been laid off or had their hours drastically cut due to the health crisis. They are worried about how they will pay rent, which was already difficult to do on their own. Other survivors anticipate loss of income due to any combination of illness, child care needs with schools closed, layoffs and cut hours as businesses are impacted by the governor’s order to stay home. We are seeing increased needs for emergency financial assistance and expect these needs to grow exponentially.
Advocates continue to be as creative as possible, using techniques such as purchasing e-gift cards or online necessities for families who do not have access to safe transportation or who have health concerns that keep them from venturing out to obtain basics necessities such as diapers, wipes, or medicine. We are increasing the use of promissory letters and landlord outreach/education to protect the rights of our survivors.
LifeWire staff continue to do everything they can to provide services and keep life as safe as possible for survivors and families in need.
Thank you for your support of LifeWire. We are truly grateful for your partnership, today more than ever!