LifeWire https://www.lifewire.org Together Against Domestic Violence Mon, 13 Mar 2017 21:23:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 International Women’s Day: LifeWire’s Icons https://www.lifewire.org/international-womens-day-lifewires-icons/ Wed, 08 Mar 2017 19:56:41 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=1605 Today, we celebrate women. The thousands of women who have the courage to come to us each year in the hopes of building safer and more fulfilling lives for themselves and their children. The women who, 35 years ago, allied together with local leaders to fight against injustice and start the organization we now know […]

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Today, we celebrate women.

The thousands of women who have the courage to come to us each year in the hopes of building safer and more fulfilling lives for themselves and their children.

The women who, 35 years ago, allied together with local leaders to fight against injustice and start the organization we now know as LifeWire.

We come together today – on International Women’s Day – to celebrate the women who have shaped our lives and whose paths to greatness have guided our own.

In honor of International Women’s Day, LifeWire staff members were asked to nominate our own personal icons – women leaders who inspire and motivate us with their words and their stories.

Here are the four who rose to the top.

Jill Davies
Nominated by Maria Williams, Services Director

“Jill Davies taught me everything I know about domestic violence advocacy.”
– Maria Williams

At LifeWire, we pride ourselves on delivering advocacy that is tailored to the unique needs of every survivor who walks through our doors. Safety – and what a family needs to feel and be safe – is not objective. This individualized and survivor-centered method of serving survivors – the method that has gained LifeWire national recognition – was defined by Jill Davies. Jill was willing to talk about survivors’ autonomy and self-determination before those were buzz words. She has written and consulted extensively on issues of importance to family violence survivors, including advocacy and safety planning, poverty and legal issues.

“We will not silence our voices about the destructive effects of family violence, the suffering it causes adult and child victims, or the way it continues to devalue and disrespect women and children in society.”
– Jill Davies

bell hooks
Nominated by Tanya Flanagin, Mental Health Therapist

“Through her work, bell hooks brings to light the intersection between race and feminism. She is one of the great feminist thinkers of our time.”
– Tanya Flanigan

bell hooks’ work has transformed modern perceptions of black women in the United States. She has dedicated her life’s work to giving voice to the most marginalized and oppressed in our society – a core tenet of our work here at LifeWire.

“If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice.”
– bell hooks

Amelia Earhart
Nominated by Loren Steel, Facilities Manager

“Amelia Earhart was a feminist before feminism was even a thing, she was a pilot, and most importantly, she was a Kansan.”
– Loren Steel

We all know Amelia Earhart for her courage, tenacity and willingness to defy the odds. As she was on her way to becoming a pilot, it’s been said that she kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings about successful women in predominantly male-oriented fields, including film direction and production, law, advertising, management and mechanical engineering. Not only was she the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic (and straight through her own glass ceiling), Earhart was also a social worker – a career near and dear to our hearts.

“Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
– Amelia Earhart

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Nominated by Karla Cortez, Bilingual Emergency Shelter Advocate

“If I could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, it would be Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.”
– Karla Cortez

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz learned to read and write by herself by age 3. Born in 1651 in San Miguel Nepantla, she wasn’t allowed to attend school as a girl. So, she disguised herself as a boy to attend. When she got older, she became a nun to continue her education. Throughout her life, Sor Juana read tirelessly and wrote plays and poetry, often challenging societal values and becoming an early proponent of women’s rights. Sor Juana is heralded for her letter, Respuesta a Sor Filotea, which defends women’s rights to educational access, and is credited as the first published feminist of the New World.

“One can perfectly well philosophize while cooking supper.”
– Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

 

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Survivor Spotlight: Monica’s Story https://www.lifewire.org/survivor-spotlight-monicas-story/ Wed, 08 Mar 2017 19:54:06 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=1627 Last month, Monica got the news she’d been waiting for. She had an interview for a job. And not just any job – a job with benefits; one that would allow her flexibility to care for her special needs son. Ever since fleeing her emotionally and physically abusive partner and father of her two children […]

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Last month, Monica got the news she’d been waiting for. She had an interview for a job. And not just any job – a job with benefits; one that would allow her flexibility to care for her special needs son.

Ever since fleeing her emotionally and physically abusive partner and father of her two children a few years ago, Monica and her family have been in and out of emergency and transitional housing shelters across King County. Frequent medical appointments and lack of affordable child care have made it difficult for Monica to hold down a job and a steady source of income.

So when Monica came to LifeWire, we knew she was the perfect fit for a new partnership we’ve developed with our local Home Depot. After Monica applied for the position online, our contact, Jamie, scheduled her for an interview the following week.

Once the team at Home Depot was able to meet Monica, they hired her on the spot.

Now, Monica can afford child care and health insurance for her two kids. And she won’t lose her job when she has to miss a day of work for a medical appointment.

Yesterday, Monica applied for a two-bedroom apartment in Auburn. Her dream of providing a safe home for her two children is within reach.

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Why is Awareness Important? – Tony’s Story https://www.lifewire.org/awareness-important-tonys-story/ Fri, 24 Feb 2017 22:19:05 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=1580 One third of the women and a quarter of the men in your life have probably experienced some form of domestic violence, and you most likely don’t know about it. As a high school student, I find it difficult to acknowledge the high rates of abuse towards teens. Seeing a constant rate at which people […]

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One third of the women and a quarter of the men in your life have probably experienced some form of domestic violence, and you most likely don’t know about it.

As a high school student, I find it difficult to acknowledge the high rates of abuse towards teens. Seeing a constant rate at which people of my age experience domestic violence – primarily in the home – often creates a feeling of helplessness, but most importantly, an eagerness to intervene. It is important to talk about this abuse, as it can help teens such as myself realize that we are not alone in our struggle and that if we come together, we can make a huge difference.

As of right now, strategies for leaving toxic relationships are not taught at school, leaving many teens feeling trapped in a mindset of not wanting to be prudes or wanting to look bad to their peers. The signs of being in an abusive relationship are not openly talked about as a current problem from within, but instead a problem only in other parts of the world. This mentality that is ingrained in people from a young age causes many to question whether their relationship is legitimately abusive, as many feel that domestic violence is a distant subject touched on during health class rather than something that could be a reality to them.

Often, students forget that organizations raising awareness about their classmates’ situations and their own potential situations are in need of people just like them to take a stand. Many young people do not realize that their age does not stop them from being a huge asset to an important cause. In fact, sometimes kids can make the biggest difference.

The new generation is the future, and organizations such as LifeWire are in need of students to raise awareness among their community to help prevent a new wave of domestic violence. Though it is important for young people to get involved, people of any age are crucial to spreading awareness and prevention of domestic violence.

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Transitional Housing Advocate https://www.lifewire.org/transitional-housing-advocate/ Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:44:51 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=1576 Position: Transitional Housing Advocate Reports to: Homelessness Services Manager Hours: 40 hours per week Salary Range: Starts at $17/hour DOE, Benefits Included, Premium pay for multi-lingual services Classification: Regular, Non-exempt, N4 Responsibility Level Start Date: ASAP LifeWire is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value diversity on our staff. Survivors of domestic violence and persons of color are encouraged to apply. […]

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Position: Transitional Housing Advocate
Reports to: Homelessness Services Manager
Hours: 40 hours per week
Salary Range: Starts at $17/hour DOE, Benefits Included, Premium pay for multi-lingual services
Classification: Regular, Non-exempt, N4 Responsibility Level
Start Date: ASAP

LifeWire is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value diversity on our staff. Survivors of domestic violence and persons of color are encouraged to apply.

LifeWire’s Vision / Mission

Domestic violence is a human rights issue. LifeWire envisions a world in which every person lives in a safe environment, free from oppression and with the opportunity to thrive. LifeWire’s mission is to end domestic violence by changing individual, institutional and societal beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate it.

About LifeWire

LifeWire delivers unique and compassionate services that provide profound healing. We focus on truly empowering survivors and giving them every opportunity to thrive and succeed. We offer opportunity and hope through services like our award-winning children’s programs, life-changing housing stability program and ground-breaking social change work. As a result, survivors are able to attend to their basic needs, rebuild their lives, find peace and become self-sufficient. Each survivor reaching out to LifeWire has a unique story. Each individual success is a victory.

Overview of Program   

LifeWire’s My Friend’s Place is a confidential transitional housing program that serves women and their children who have been impacted by both domestic violence and chemical dependency. The first of its kind, My Friend’s Place recognizes that domestic violence can lead to and be compounded by chemical dependency. The shelter opened in 1997, and in 2005 expanded its services to serve 10 families for up to 18 months. Services for residents are provided in conjunction with Therapeutic Health Services Eastside (THS), with goals of safety, sobriety and self-sufficiency.

Overview of Position

Housing Advocates are responsible for providing daily advocacy, support and transportation to the women and their children who are residents of My Friend’s Place. MFP Advocates work closely with Therapeutic Health Services’ chemical dependency counselor located on site and as a part of the housing services team.

Key Responsibilities

Advocacy

  • Provide survivor-driven and trauma-informed advocacy services within a communal living environment with a particular focus on the intersection between domestic violence and chemical dependency.
  • Develop and nurture relationships with partner and referral service providers.
  • Remain knowledgeable of program and agency guidelines and procedures so independent decisions may be made in emergency as well as daily situations.
  • Facilitate support groups, education groups and other meetings with participants as assigned.
  • Lead the coordination and expansion of children and youth services with support of Program Manager.
  • Assist with participants’ transportation needs via agency vehicles.
  • Assist in maintaining facility compliance with fire and health code regulations.

Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Work closely and cooperatively in a team setting with advocates, agency-wide staff, interns, donors and volunteers.
  • Assist in providing training for other staff, volunteers, donors and interns.
  • Maintain organized shared spaces and personal work environment.
  • Work closely with the housing team to determine the depth of advocacy services needed in order to provide quality of services.

Data Collection and Reporting

  • Participate in system data collection in an accurate, complete, and timely manner.
  • Conduct outcome measurement and other applicable program evaluation tools.
  • Complete necessary paperwork and statistical information related to programs.
  • Track expenditures and work closely with the team to stay within budget.

External and Internal Systems Engagement

  • Participate in continuing education and other professional development opportunities including anti-violence, anti-oppression, and diversity training.
  • Participate in specific community meetings as determined, in order to keep informed of local and regional matters relevant to the program.
  • Attend regular internal and external meetings as assigned.

Qualifications

Requirements

  • B.A. in related field. Work experience may be substituted for education.
  • Two (2) years experience in crisis intervention and domestic violence advocacy preferred.
  • One (1) year experience providing direct services to women and children in residential facility preferred.
  • Multilingual/cultural preferred.
  • Experience in the area of chemical dependency or mental health preferred.
  • Experience, ability and willingness to work as a team with culturally diverse staff, volunteers, interns, donors and residents.
  • Reliable transportation and valid Washington State driver’s license.
  • Ability to drive a fifteen passenger van.
  • Updated CPR and First Aid Certification required.
  • AIDS/HIV Certification required.
  • Ability to interact with children of all ages.
  • Basic Computer Skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team to deliver services.
  • Pass background checks.
  • Attend work regularly.

LifeWire’s Values

LifeWire’s employees are made of people who believe passionately about the value of this work and take personal responsibility for bringing success to the agency. LifeWire’s team spirit is, at its core, made up these values:

  • Leadership: LifeWire is a leader in the domestic violence movement, using experienced and cutting-edge approaches that transform lives and foster future leaders.
  • Respect and Dignity: LifeWire believes that every person, whether it’s the survivors we serve, our volunteers or our staff, has value, deserves respect and has inherent dignity.
  • Justice: LifeWire is part of and connected to a larger movement to end all types of oppression and violence.
  • Empowerment: LifeWire provides access to options and opportunities for survivors, AND we believe that survivors have the inherent ability to thrive and are capable of making their own decisions.
  • Equality: Everyone deserves to be safe from domestic violence, regardless of their background and access to resources.
  • Passion & Commitment: We are deeply committed to ending domestic violence and approach our efforts with passion.
  • Professionalism: Our staff and volunteers are highly knowledgeable and skilled in the domestic violence arena, value each other, create a supportive work environment, and conduct themselves professionally at all times.
  • Education: We believe that education is one of the best tools we have to prevent domestic violence from occurring today and in the future.

Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment described here represent those that must be met or will be encountered by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to use a computer, which includes extensive keyboarding. The employee must be able to hear and speak. Specific vision abilities required of this job include close vision to data enter information, work with community websites, faxes, and email. The employee must be able to speak with and inspire small and large groups of donors, employees and community groups. The work involves physical movement throughout LifeWire and community organizations’ facilities. Employee must frequently carry up to 15 pounds and must occasionally lift/carry/push/pull up to 30 pounds. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms and stoop, bend, kneel or crouch. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance. This role is mobile, which requires the employee to travel locally to meet participants, other agency representatives, donors and service suppliers.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is often in an office environment with moderate noise, and will also be mobile (local travel by automobile) to attend meetings at various locations.  Employees are often exposed to recitations of traumatic situations and must be prepared to handle secondary trauma.

TO APPLY:

Please return your cover letter and resume to:

LifeWire
ATTN: Human Resources
P.O. Box 6398
Bellevue, WA  98008-0398
FAX: 425-649-0752
EMAIL: hr@lifewire.org

  • If both your resume and cover letter are not turned in, application will not be considered.
  • You will be asked to fill out LifeWire Job Application and Washington State Patrol background check form once selected for an in-person interview.
  • Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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Stories from VOICES – LifeWire’s Youth Support Group https://www.lifewire.org/stories-voices-lifewires-youth-support-group/ Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:46:12 +0000 https://www.lifewire.org/?p=1557 This post was written by Krystle Andres, LifeWire’s Youth Advocate. Accompanying images were taken by Krystle of the teens who attend VOICES.  It’s the Monday night before Valentine’s Day, and all of us are gathered around in our usual spots on the couches in our meeting room. We’ve all been coming to this room every […]

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This post was written by Krystle Andres, LifeWire’s Youth Advocate. Accompanying images were taken by Krystle of the teens who attend VOICES. 

It’s the Monday night before Valentine’s Day, and all of us are gathered around in our usual spots on the couches in our meeting room. We’ve all been coming to this room every Monday night for the past year for LifeWire’s weekly youth support group – VOICES.

We come here to be in community with one another while also silently acknowledging that domestic violence is at the core of why we are here. Each week I remind them that the purpose of our group is not just community, but a place to process what is happening in their lives. Despite this transparency in purpose, I never push them to share anything they don’t want to.

However, tonight is different.

We begin by talking about February’s Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and their voice as teens. Over the course of the year, I have watched each of these teens struggle and grow, their journeys often moving at a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ pace. I’ve also heard them express their desire to have their voice heard and their stories shared to help others.

Wanting to be represented in LifeWire’s effort to bring awareness around domestic violence and teen dating violence while also remaining anonymous, they requested that I compile their thoughts and words for them to share with all of you.

It all started with two questions:

  • Why are you here?
  • What do you want our communities to know?

When I ask these questions, I can feel the palpable shift in comfort as each of my teens considers how much of themselves and their experiences they want to reveal to one another. Eventually, one of our youngest members breaks the silence.

“I’m here because I’ve been having nightmares about my dad and I want to be here to remind myself that I’m safe.”

The feeling of safety quickly becomes the central focus; immediately the flood gates open. All of them begin to share, one right after the other.

“This is a safe environment. I feel like I can share freely here and feel safe here physically.”

“It’s also a great community. I have fun here with all of you.”

Each and every one of the young men and women in my group begin agreeing and validating one another; for these two hours every Monday night they are safe and they are not alone.

As we start to discuss the second question, the youngest and most guarded man in my group raises his hand and asks, “Can I tell a story?”

He continues by saying, “On May 29 of last year, my dad came back from a trip and texted me asking me to hang out. I had heard my dad hurting my mom before they divorced and I’ve had to pull him off of his girlfriend he was choking at the age of 10. I didn’t want to see him so I told him, ‘no,’ and he told me that I was ungrateful and selfish. He also said that I wouldn’t amount to anything or have anything if he wasn’t in my life. But I’m happier without him. When I am here I get to have fun with all of you, and even though we have different experiences we are still able to help one another. Because I am here, I am happy.”

At this point, most of us, if not all of us in the room, are teary-eyed and moved. The quiet that follows isn’t one of discomfort, but one of empathy.

Even though we have had hundreds of conversations with one another over the past year, this night, the night before Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month’s Wear Orange Day, is the closest and most authentic we have ever been with one another.

So what do the teens of VOICES want you to know?

“It’s not our fault. I used to think that it was my fault, what happened to me. That I was the reason he hurt me or my mom – because of something I did. But now I know it’s not. We are not alone. We are here.”

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