Finding strength and stability

Every time Aleah tried to leave or hide, her abusive partner tracked her down. Eventually, one of his violent outbursts left her with a traumatic brain injury and a growing stack of medical bills. When he landed in jail for the assault, Aleah was also left to pay their shared rent and the other bills. She tried to find work, but jobs were scarce during the first months of the pandemic. Then her doctor declared her unable to work for at least a few months while she healed from her brain injury.

Aleah was months behind on her rent when she reached out to LifeWire for financial help. Despite the eviction moratorium, her landlord pressed her weekly about paying the back rent accumulated since her assault. Aleah told her advocate that she didn’t know where else to go for help. She had immigrated to the U.S. from the Middle East for school nearly a decade before, leaving most of her family behind.

To give Aleah the stability she needed to address her health and other DV-related issues, LifeWire paid her rent twice. When her abuser got out of jail and assaulted her again, Aleah called her advocate for help with crisis safety planning. She worked with her LifeWire legal advocate to get a Domestic Violence Protection Order. In the process, Aleah learned how to advocate for herself if she needed to call the police on her abuser again. Equipped with a better understanding of the American legal system, Aleah found a low-cost lawyer to support her case.

Feeling safer, Aleah worked with her advocate on becoming economically stable. She connected with the additional health services she needed to heal and applied for medical bill relief. Aleah finally felt able to sleep at night when she connected with Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) – King County, which will help repay her back rent. Aleah is still recovering from her head injury, but she hopes to find a new job soon. She recently told her advocate, “I’m doing really well.”

We support survivors:

LifeWire partners with survivors on their individual journeys toward renewed strength, stability, and empowerment. Our advocates listen to survivors as they describe their needs and help them identify resources that will enable them to build safer lives. By tailoring our support to each survivor, we are able to respond to survivors’ unique barriers, challenges, and goals.

Help us ensure that LifeWire’s Advocacy Services are here for every survivor who needs them when they need them.

Thanks to your support, last year:

  • 969 survivors worked one-on-one with a LifeWire advocate to heal from physical, financial, emotional, and other forms of abuse.
  • 209 participants received support from LifeWire’s Legal Advocacy services team for domestic violence-related issues, including Protection Orders and custody challenges.
  • 158 adults, children, and youth received domestic violence-informed mental health therapy to heal form their experiences.

Reaching out to a friend

Emma attended LifeWire’s healthy relationships class as part of the 10th-grade health curriculum at her high school. She didn’t know anything about DV or dating violence before the presentation. But as she listened, she realized that her friend Becca might be living in a house where DV was occurring. One slide in the presentation shared tips about how to talk to a friend who might be experiencing DV. After class, Emma spoke to one of our staff members and then used the advice to reach out to her friend. Becca was glad that Emma asked about what was happening at home and found it helpful to talk to someone who listened without shame or blame.

Emma and Becca both started coming to the student leadership group that LifeWire facilitates at their school. Becca found support from peers who care about DV issues and understand the challenges of coping with these issues during the pandemic. Emma was surprised to learn how many kids are impacted by DV and dating violence and was excited to learn that DV is preventable.

Emma says, “As I talk to more students about their experiences with DV and dating violence, I become more passionate about wanting to prevent it.” She was elected president of the leadership group for 2021 and is working to reach and involve new groups of kids at her high school in the movement.


We promote healthy relationships

LifeWire partners with area high schools, Bellevue College, and UW Bothell to provide young people with the tools they need to build healthy relationships and identify unhealthy behaviors. We also mentor athletic coaches and student leaders to foster informed youth communities that feel empowered to prevent violence.

More young people need skills to build healthy relationships. Help us expand to additional high schools and colleges.

Thanks to your support, last year:

  • 796 High school and college students learned about dating violence and healthy relationships.
  • 4,103 Community members learned about domestic violence and LifeWire’s services.

We felt like we could rest

After weeks spent shuffling her two kids by bus between her friends’ apartments, Luisa finally felt she could rest. They’d found a safer place to stay at My Sister’s Home, LifeWire’s emergency shelter.

Her abuser knew that Luisa was an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador who spoke little English, and she depended upon him for housing and other basic needs. But Luisa wanted to give her children a home free from violence. So she’d packed a few belongings and left.

As a victim of crime, Luisa learned she was eligible for a U visa that would allow her to stay in the U.S. with her American-born children. Over several months, Luisa worked with a lawyer and a translator to plead her case. Her Spanish-speaking advocate helped to translate the legal language and listened as Luisa practiced her story for court. Getting her visa and work permit was a huge relief. Luisa was able to renew her I.D. and open a bank account for the first time.

After finding a job, Luisa began to search for housing. Through King County’s Coordinated Entry, her advocate matched Luisa with a housing program run by
Muslim Housing Services. Because Luisa had no rental history, it took months working with her advocate to find an affordable apartment. After a year and a half at My Sister’s Home, Luisa was excited to move into a complex where both the office staff and maintenance workers spoke Spanish. Once the housing program ends, Luisa feels she’ll be ready to take over the whole rent.

We provide paths to safer housing

Our advocates work with survivors to overcome challenges that prevent them from finding and maintaining safer and stable housing. We offer confidential emergency and transitional housing and housing-first programs that prioritize getting or keeping survivors housed so they can improve their safety and pursue personal goals.

Twice as many survivors needed housing or shelter last year than we could serve. Help us ensure that no one has to choose between staying in a violent home or becoming homeless.

Thanks to your support, last year:

  • 368 families and 982 individuals received safe, confidential shelter and housing services.
  • survivors and their families found 29,385 nights of safe shelter through LifeWire’s emergency shelter and transitional housing.

You’re saving lives

Silhouette of a woman in front of a window with the blinds shut

Andrea connected with LifeWire last year through our partnership with Open Arms Perinatal Services. Her partner had physically abused her throughout the first two trimesters of her pregnancy and began beating her again shortly after giving birth.

Andrea wanted to leave, but she needed somewhere to go. LifeWire connected Andrea with a local shelter. The temporary housing gave her time to find a place to stay with friends. Andrea agreed to cook, clean, and take care of their kids in exchange for room and board.

Things were going well for Andrea and her two kids until the COVID-19 crisis. The family Andrea lived with suffered a big financial setback when one parent lost a job and the other lost hours. They asked Andrea and her kids to leave, but Andrea didn’t have any place to go.

Continue reading “You’re saving lives”

Not everyone can safely make a call

Woman in kitchen looking down and typing on her phone


Our helpline is staffed 24/7, but not everyone can safely make the call.

“Beth” was worried about her safety. Washington’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order reduced her chance of catching or spreading COVID-19, but it left her vulnerable to other dangers.

Her husband lost hours at work, which meant a smaller paycheck and more time trapped at home with him. While he never hurt her physically, the emotional abuse grew by the day, scaring Beth and their young daughter.

In her brief moments alone, Beth reached out to LifeWire via email. Working with an advocate only through email, Beth put together a safety plan and came up with ways to keep her and her daughter safer.

Become a lifeline for survivors like Beth now when they need it most and give today.

Keeping the Lights On

Mom and son touching noses

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.

Homeless in Winter

Mom with son and daughter in grassy field

Shortly after arriving in Washington, Rose found a part-time job for the U.S. Postal Service. But between the government shutdown and February’s snowstorms, 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. They were homeless in winter.

Stress, exhaustion, and worry replaced the initial relief Rose felt after putting 2,000 miles between her abuser and the kids. 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 overcame her difficult rental history and limited income. After five months of wintertime homelessness, the family finally moved into an 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.