Volunteer Training

DV Advocacy and Volunteer Training

Survivors of domestic violence face unique barriers and challenges to living safer and healthier lives. Our comprehensive Domestic Violence Advocacy and Volunteer Training course provides volunteers and partner agencies with the specialized training needed to begin the important work of serving survivors. Offered at least once a year, the training is mandatory for anyone volunteering in a direct service role.

Applications are now closed for the Fall 2022 Advocacy and Volunteer Training!


Stay tuned for 2023 Advocacy and Volunteer Training Schedule.

Training covers

  • History of the DV movement.
  • Understanding domestic violence
  • Domestic violence through a social justice lens, privilege, and anti-oppression
  • Domestic violence and homelessness
  • Domestic violence and economic justice and systems advocacy
  • Domestic violence and children and youth
  • Domestic violence and mental health and substance use
  • Domestic violence and the legal system
  • Safety planning, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention
  • Providing services and advocacy to individuals from marginalized populations.
  • LifeWire’s policies and procedures.

Fall 2021 Sessions

Session 1: Domestic Violence 101

Please join us for the first workshop session of the 4-week series as we define and unpack intimate partner violence. We will be debunking the common myths of domestic violence/intimate partner violence and how it is perceived in society vs. the reality survivors experience. We will also be differentiating between the legal definition and the definition Domestic Violence Advocates use and providing attendees with the tools and skills around survivor-driven and trauma-informed advocacy.

Sessions 2 and 3: Domestic Violence through a Social Justice and Anti-Oppression Lens

Join us as we highlight the vital importance of intersectionality within the gender-based violence movement. As social service providers and/or Domestic Violence Advocates, we must have an anti-racist framework to understand the systems of oppression BIPOC survivors face that create added barriers to their safety and well-being. This session will dive into the history of White privilege, racism, and oppression. We will unpack the differences between equity and equality, being non-racist vs. anti-racist, and intent vs. impact concerning how we serve survivors of domestic violence. This interactive and discussion-based session will identify common micro-aggressions, how to leverage your privilege and positionality as a service provider, and how we move forward in the social service sector.

Financial coercive control is a common form of abuse and is one of the major reasons why survivors may stay with their abusive partner. We unpack the stereotypes and misconceptions of survivors living in poverty and the challenges to maintaining financial stability. This session identifies the multiple variations of financial abuse while also highlighting the barriers survivors face when accessing Public Benefits. Part of advocacy is supporting survivors navigate systems like DSHS or SSI, and our advocates will walk through supportive services and programs that help alleviate the overwhelming process.

Session 6: Domestic Violence and Homelessness / Housing Instability

Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children in King County. We know that there is a direct correlation between financial coercive control and homelessness for DV survivors. This session will discuss the housing crisis within King County and how survivors must often have to choose between housing instability or staying with their abusive partner. Our facilitators will identify how organizations like LifeWire and other organizations within the gender-based violence sector work under the Housing First Model to provide a more holistic and wrap-around advocacy approach in supporting survivors.

Session 7: Domestic Violence and Mental Health / Substance Use

This session will share the history of intimate partner violence and mental health—recognizing the intersection of domestic violence, mental health, and trauma. Abusive tactics that target a survivor’s mental health and/or substance use are part of a broader pattern of power and control. LifeWire’s Mental Health Providers share how DV advocacy can significantly impact a survivor’s overall mental health and how mental health providers at LifeWire are rooted in trauma-informed therapy.

Session 8: Domestic Violence and Children / Youth

Exposure to childhood trauma can have a detrimental impact on children’s brain development, regulation of emotions, and cognitive and behavioral functioning. Children of survivors are also DV survivors and often exhibit normal reactions to trauma. This session will identify some common responses we see and support them when working with Children & Youth. This workshop will share how abuse often continues through using their children, and the step-parent’s parenting is undermined using tactics involving the children. We unpack what it may look like when no one talks to Children & Youth about the DV they have witnessed. As a volunteer, service provider, or DV advocate, your interactions with children should always model healthy relationship behaviors. This session will offer best practices to facilitate that space and relationship.

Session 9: Domestic Violence and Safety Planning, Crisis Interventions & Next Steps

Whether you are speaking with a survivor over Helpline or working with a survivor directly, safety and their well-being are priorities. Survivor-Driven and Trauma-informed advocacy is crucial in supporting a survivor impacted by intimate partner violence. Our facilitators will walk you through best practices to support survivors, whether you are a service provider, volunteer, friend/family, or bystander. A large part of this involves identifying how to stay safe through strengths-based advocacy, connecting survivors to resources, empathy, supportive listening, and ongoing safety planning as circumstances can change quickly.