LifeWire’s 2019 Impact Report
Everyone needs a safe and healthy home to sustain well-being and fully contribute to our community.
At LifeWire, we help adults, children, and youth who have been impacted by domestic violence to build safer, healthier homes by offering support, resources, and professional services including survivor advocacy, mental health therapy, legal advocacy, shelter, and housing. And we work with youth and young adults to develop healthy foundations early in life, preventing future violence.
Thanks to your help, we’re building a world where no one has to choose between staying in a violent home and becoming homeless, every young person learns what a healthy relationship looks like, and LifeWire’s services are here for every survivor who needs them.
Thanks to your support, in 2018:
- 4,252 survivors of domestic violence connected with LifeWire’s services to reach greater safety, freedom, and healing.
- 1,094 survivors worked one-on-one with a LifeWire advocate to heal from physical, financial, emotional, and other forms of abuse.
- 274 survivors and their 472 children found safer homes through LifeWire’s homelessness and housing stabilization services.
- 161 survivors received DV-informed Mental Health Therapy to heal from their experiences.
- 260 survivors received support for domestic violence-related legal issues, including filing Protection Orders and custody challenges, from LifeWire’s Legal Advocacy services.
- 2,539 high school and college students learned about dating violence and healthy relationships.
LifeWire has helped over 145,000 survivors of domestic violence, but we measure our impact by more than the numbers.
Success, to us, means:
- Survivors feeling safe and independent after leaving an abusive partner.
- Adults and young people building skills that contribute to positive, healthy, and balanced lives.
- Families finding long-term stability after their lives have been uprooted by violence.
- Schools promoting gender equity and challenging violent attitudes and behaviors.
Click on the links in the box at right to learn how your support has made a difference to survivors in our community. By working together, we can fulfill our mission to end domestic violence and create a world where every person lives in a safe environment, free from oppression, and with the opportunity to thrive.
The abuse continued even after Sophie left her husband. But instead of attacking her with criticism, threats, or physical violence, he targeted her bank account.
Sophie felt shocked and horrified the first time it happened. Her entire paycheck was gone less than an hour after it had been deposited. She reported the fraud to both her bank and employer, but her ex continued to use a flaw in the system to drain her bank account after every pay period.
The unpaid bills quickly piled up. First her cellphone was disconnected. Then a utility shutoff notice appeared on her door. She scrambled to pay for food and rent for both herself and her 3-year-old son.
Afraid she would lose her home, Sophie reached out to LifeWire for help. Flexible funds made it possible for Sophie to restore her cellphone service and pay her utility bill. She received help with her banking issues, and no longer has to worry about her paycheck disappearing. To protect herself and her son, she’s working with a legal advocate to help with custody issues.
After months of turmoil and instability, Sophie is finally confident that things are back on track.
Shortly after arriving in Washington, Rose found a job working part time for the U.S. Postal Service. But between the government shut-down and February’s snow storms, she went over two months without a full paycheck. Unable to rent an apartment because of the debt she took on to flee her abuser, Rose and her two children bounced between family, hotels, and her car.
The initial relief of putting 2,000 miles between her abuser and the kids was replaced by stress, exhaustion, and worry. But what hurt Rose the most was watching her children face the ongoing impact of domestic violence combined with the new trauma of homelessness. Rose’s children struggled with their emotions at school and the lack of stability she longed to give them.
Rose reached out to LifeWire. With the help of her LifeWire housing advocate, Rose was able to overcome her difficult rental history and limited income. After five months of wintertime homelessness, the family finally moved into apartment of their own.
With a stable and safe roof over their heads and the support of LifeWire advocates, Rose and her children are healing and planning for their future. Rose is working on career development and the children are thriving in their new home and schools.
On a cold February morning, a dozen Eastside high school students arrived in Olympia excited to participate in Domestic Violence Advocacy Day for the first time. The members of GOVAA (Gender Orientated Violence Advocacy and Activism), an after school club at Interlake High School, all share a deep commitment to supporting survivors of gender-based violence and promoting healthy relationships within their school and community. Many have experienced domestic violence in their own families or watched friends struggle with dating violence and unhealthy relationships. They were eager to tell their stories and, as one student shared, “change the world.”
In the morning, the students gathered with DV advocates from across the state to learn about legislation affecting survivors. Many of the youth were surprised by how many of the bills aimed at preventing homelessness and addressing poverty would also help survivors of domestic violence. By the time they met with their representatives, the students felt energized to “improve the lives of our community members.”
Their enthusiasm was contagious. After sharing their personal stories about gender-based violence and how violence impacted their family and friends, a legislative aide told LifeWire’s social change manger “they are powerful.”
Young people have a tremendous ability to shift culture if we empower them. The youth only spent a day in Olympia, but it had ripple effects in the community and their lives. Several of the bills the youth advocated for became law, increasing protections for survivors and low income families. GOVAA is looking for other ways to enact policy changes on the Eastside. And one of the students has decided to run for student body office next year.