Volunteer Training

DV Advocacy Training

Survivors of domestic violence face unique barriers and challenges to living safer and healthier lives. Our 20-hour Domestic Violence Advocacy and Volunteer Training 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.

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.

Summer 2020 sessions

Session 1: Domestic Violence 101

Date: Monday, August 17, July 6 from 5:30 pm – 8 pm
Moderator: Natalie Hills
Facilitators: Gabrielle Oglesby and Jennifer Anne Dela Cruz

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 what domestic violence/intimate partner violence is 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.

Session 2: Domestic Violence and Housing Instability / The Housing First Model

Date: Wednesday, August 219, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Moderator: Natalie Hills
Facilitators: Shelby Lowrey Lyonais, Sam Harkness, and Sarah Kendall

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 3: Domestic Violence and Economic Justice / Systems Advocacy

Date: Monday, August 24, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Moderator: Natalie Hills
Facilitators: Mackenzie Visser, Amy Lewis, and Julie Anthony

Financial coercive control is a common form of abuse and is one of the major factors why a survivor may stay with their abuser. 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 4: Domestic Violence and Children / Youth

Date: Wednesday, August 26, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Moderator: Natalie Hills
Facilitators: Anna Duncan

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 times exhibit normal reactions to trauma—this session will identify some common responses we see and how we can support when working with Children & Youth. This workshop will share how abuse often continues through using their children and the safe-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 and this session will offer best-practices to be able to facilitate that space and relationship.

Sessions 5 and 6: Domestic Violence through a Social Justice and Anti-Oppression Lens

Dates: Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Moderator: Natalie Hills
Facilitators: Karla Cortez, Ward Urion, and Amira Qabar

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 in order 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 in relation to 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.

Session 7: Domestic Violence and Mental Health

Date: Wednesday, September 2, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Moderator: Natalie Hills
Facilitators: Lindley King

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 is 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 healthy providers at LifeWire are rooted in trauma-informed therapy.

Session 8: Domestic Violence and the Legal System

Date: Tuesday, September 8, from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm (3-hour session)
Moderator: Natalie Hills
Facilitators: Julie Anthony, Neetika Gupta, and Melissa O’Sullivan

The legal system can often be a helpful resource for survivors seeking protections from their abusers however, what we know is abuser can utilize the legal system as another form of abuse post separation. This session will share and define the different legal protections (DVPO, Restraining Order, No-Contact Order, and Anti-harassment Order) for survivors as well as go over the most common Family Law issues DV survivors face such as Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation, Parenting Plans, Child Support, and Parenting Evaluations. LifeWire’s Legal Advocates will share protections for immigrant survivors, housing protections, and employment protections for survivors.

Session 9: Domestic Violence and Safety Planning / How to Support Survivors

Date: Wednesday, September 9, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Moderator: Natalie Hills
Facilitators: Tevin Medley, Claire Dunbar, and Allegra Nami

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 and our facilitators will walk you through best-practices in how 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 and supportive listening and ongoing safety planning as circumstances can change quickly.

Applying for training

For the health and safety of everyone, our next training will be held virtually and will run on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays, August 17 through September 9, 2020 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 or 8:30 p.m.

Volunteer applications:

  1. Fill out the Volunteer Application and the Washington State Patrol Request for History.
  2. Interview with Natalie, LifeWire’s Resources Manager. Interviews will take place virtually through August 14, 2020.
  3. Register and pay for the series. Please note: we will never turn someone away for financial hardship. Please let Natalie know if the fee is a barrier for you.

Partner applications:

Partner agencies and professionals can also attend our training! If you are interested in attending our Domestic Violence Advocacy Training as a professional partner, you are not required to interview. However, we still ask that you fill out and submit a Washington State Patrol Request for History. and register for a spot.

For more questions about our upcoming training, contact our Resources Manager, Natalie Hills, at natalien@lifewire.org.