LifeWire https://www.lifewire.org Together Against Domestic Violence Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:24:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault https://www.lifewire.org/domestic-violence-and-sexual-assault/ Fri, 06 Apr 2018 22:54:08 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=2259 “Marta” and her husband were married for 13 years and had three children. Throughout their marriage, her husband emotionally abused her, controlled her activities and regularly demanded sex as his right. If Marta said she didn’t want to have sex, her husband begged, blamed and screamed until she gave in. If Marta asked for anything for herself […]

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“Marta” and her husband were married for 13 years and had three children. Throughout their marriage, her husband emotionally abused her, controlled her activities and regularly demanded sex as his right.

If Marta said she didn’t want to have sex, her husband begged, blamed and screamed until she gave in. If Marta asked for anything for herself or the children, Marta’s husband demanded sex as payment. 

Sometimes, Marta locked herself in the bedroom for protection, but this only resulted in her husband yelling and threatening her until she agreed to have sex with him and let him in so that he would stop frightening the kids. One day, after her husband brutally assaulted her, Marta reached out for help.

Marta’s story is not unusual. In fact, 25% of all sexual assaults are committed by a current or former spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend.[1] And nearly one in 10 women has been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime.[2]

LifeWire honors Sexual Assault Awareness month each year because we recognize that Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence are related and intersecting social problems. Although often addressed separately, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence are both forms of gender-based violence, and are deeply interrelated in both causation and impact.

In recent years, organizations working to end Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault have made efforts to coordinate, recognizing that our services, our messaging and our impact on communities and survivors are stronger together. LifeWire is an active member of the King County Coalition Ending Gender-based Violence, which includes 40 member agencies who work together to coordinate services and advocate for laws and services to benefit survivors.

If you are a survivor of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence or both, help is available.  Please reach out to LifeWire or any of our partner organizations including:

[1] https://www.rainn.org/statistics/perpetrators-sexual-violence

[2] https://www.nsvrc.org/publications/nsvrc-publications-fact-sheets/media-packet-statistics-about-sexual-violence

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Children’s Services https://www.lifewire.org/childrens-services/ Fri, 06 Apr 2018 22:53:48 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=2263 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 […]

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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.

We have a Children’s Advocate and a Youth Advocate on staff who focus exclusively on children and youth to give them the attention they need and deserve through age-appropriate services, and to build relationships of trust with youth who are receiving services from LifeWire, either with a parent or individually.

LifeWire’s Children and Youth Services include:

Children’s Advocacy and Support Groups for children living with a non-abusive parent. Meeting weekly, the support groups are a safe space for children who have experienced trauma. In a group, children work with advocates on emotional intelligence, healthy ways to express themselves, positive communication skills and healthy relationship skills. In 2017, 311 children and youth participated in support group, and 145 received one-on-one advocacy—a significant increase from 2016.

VOICES is a weekly support group for youth ages 13 and older who have experienced violence and abuse in their homes and are interested in connecting with other youth who share their experiences. VOICES provides a safe space for youth to learn, grow and care for one another through activities and small group discussions focused on trauma recovery and healthy relationships. In addition, VOICES youth can meet one-on-one with the Youth Advocate to discuss issues related to their experiences. In 2017, 11 youth spent 138 hours participating in VOICES.

Children’s Domestic Violence Response Team (CDVRT) is a specialized collaboration with Sound Mental Health to help survivors and their children heal from the trauma of domestic violence. This program brings together therapists and LifeWire advocates with children and their parents on a weekly basis. In 2017, 21 children and youth from 17 families were served through CDVRT.

Youth Outreach and Prevention Education teaches high school students about dating violence and domestic violence. Students learn how to identify the warning signs of abuse, form prevention strategies and respond appropriately when they are concerned about a friend or family member. Last year, over 3,000 youth learned about dating violence and how to build healthy relationship skills.

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Abby, Age 8 https://www.lifewire.org/abby-age-8/ Fri, 06 Apr 2018 22:53:14 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=2267 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. […]

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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.

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Remembering Dr. King’s Life and Legacy https://www.lifewire.org/remembering-dr-kings-life-legacy/ Sun, 14 Jan 2018 22:10:09 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=2132 “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. More than half a century ago, Dr. King wrote those words in his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Today we honor his memory and strive to continue his work. At LifeWire, we know that to reach our mission of ending […]

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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

More than half a century ago, Dr. King wrote those words in his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Today we honor his memory and strive to continue his work.

At LifeWire, we know that to reach our mission of ending domestic violence we must achieve justice for all survivors, especially for those who face the greatest barriers. And we know that achieving justice for survivors means moving beyond providing shelter and support.

It means achieving economic justice to ensure that no survivor ever has to choose between staying in an abusive relationship and becoming homeless.

It means achieving racial justice to ensure that women from African American and other marginalized communities no longer suffer disproportionately from violence and abuse.

And it means achieving gender justice to ensure that the overwhelming abuse of women (1 in 4) and transgender people (1 in 5) is no longer tolerated.

Today, as we celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy, we’re reminded of LifeWire’s vision: a world in which every person lives in a safe environment, free from oppression and with the opportunity to thrive.

When we empower the most vulnerable among us and work to end oppression and injustice in all its forms, all survivors, all families and all communities will benefit.

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Mental Health Therapy Groups https://www.lifewire.org/mental-health-therapy-groups/ Thu, 04 Jan 2018 23:07:29 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=2123 Mental 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 […]

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Mental 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.

Mental health therapy groups combine the professional skills of a therapist with peer support, which can decrease the isolation many survivors feel after leaving an abusive relationship. Hearing similar experiences from other group members can be helpful in the healing process, and survivors can learn and practice coping skills together. In addition, the survivors who participate in therapy group together begin to develop community and accountability with one another.

“It is so much more powerful when a survivor hears about safety concerns from a peer in the group, rather than hearing it from me,” said Daphne, LifeWire’s Mental Health Services Manager.

Mental health therapy groups have also allowed us to expand our reach to more survivors, decreasing the waiting list for Mental Health services. LifeWire is organizing additional therapy groups in 2018 to continue to meet the increased need for services in our community.

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