2022 Impact Report

You Make a Difference for Survivors

Dear Friends,

When survivors and families in our community face violence and abuse at the hands of someone they love, they turn to LifeWire for help. In 1982, LifeWire started out as Eastside Domestic Violence Program, an all-volunteer crisis line. In 1998, we began providing emergency shelter and transitional housing services, and we have increased capacity annually to meet the growing need for critical services in our community.

Today, we are celebrating 40 Years of Service—providing direct services to over 3,300 survivors annually. We are the most comprehensive domestic violence (DV) service agency in Washington State and the largest DV housing provider in King County—providing emergency and relocation services for survivors and their children who would otherwise have to remain in an abusive household or become homeless.

Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children in the nation. LifeWire launched the Hope Starts Here Capital Campaign in 2018 to address this issue. Thanks to LifeWire’s generous donors and supportive community, we completed the Campaign in May 2022, having raised $15.75M to purchase a 25-unit apartment complex, provide ADA-accessible apartments, and build a services office in one central location.

This fall, we will move homeless survivors and their families into their new apartments, creating a vibrant community with on-site services and easy access to transportation, schools, and additional resources. We will increase housing access for survivors and children in our community who are facing the greatest safety risks and highest barriers to safe housing.

We have made great strides, but there is still more work to be done. As we recover from COVID-19 and economic uncertainty, the need for LifeWire services continues to grow in numbers and intensity. Time and time again, we have faced the need for change head-on and embraced the opportunity to be a leader in the mission to end domestic violence.

This year, LifeWire is transitioning to new leadership who will continue to move this incredible organization forward. We are committed to providing every possible resource to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of the survivors we serve.

Thank you for all the ways you help LifeWire! Through your generosity, LifeWire can provide the support and resources that survivors and their children need to build safer, more stable lives. Thank you!

Gratefully,

Rebecca Houghton
LifeWire Board President
Brian Hughes,
LifeWire Interim Executive Director

SURVIVOR STORIES

Leaving The Cycle of Domestic Violence and Homelessness

While Lucia was working on getting her green card, she was experiencing
extensive physical violence. The police were called to her home, but her abuser accused Lucia of domestic violence, and because he had scratches on his arms from her self-defense attempts, he falsely accused her of DV, got a no-contact order, and removed her from their home.


Lucia was homeless and living in the park when another participant
brought her to LifeWire. She was terrified. Her abuser was threatening
to harm or kill her daughters in Mexico, and she was in danger of having her green card application denied due to the DV charges. We brought Lucia
into our shelter as she needed a safe, a confidential place to stay, and paired her with a Spanish-speaking advocate. Together, they worked tirelessly with the prosecutor’s office to get the false charges dismissed.


Finally, her immigration process was back on track, and she got a work permit. We reunited her with her daughters, and the family is now prospering. Lucia and her oldest daughter have jobs; her youngest
daughter is in school. They feel safe. They have enough income to pay their rent and are looking for a new apartment using LifeWire’s Rapid Rehousing
Program and the Address Confidentiality Program. Through LifeWire’s confidential services, Lucia and her children have created a safe and happy home.

Lucia

“I didn’t see a way out. LifeWire helped me find safety, security, and hope.”

Lucia, Survivor

Hope Starts Here

For five years, LifeWire supported Anna with advocacy and counseling while she and her children lived in an abusive household. Her husband isolated and controlled her, refused to let her seek sobriety support, and never let her be alone with her children. It was simply not safe for her to leave. LifeWire advocates worked with Anna to create a Safety Plan and provided emotional and practical support so that she could plan for how she and her children might one day escape their situation.


On March 18, 2022, Anna drove away from that abusive home with her children. They were able to move into LifeWire’s transitional housing, My Friend’s Place, where survivors who are parenting and struggling with substance use can heal and rebuild their lives. Anna called her advocate on the way to say how amazing it felt just to be in the car, alone with her two children, for the first time in years. For now, Anna
and her children are sharing one bedroom. But, later this year, they will move into their own private Hope Starts Here (HSH) Apartment with access to schools, grocery
stores, parks, and playgrounds at our new facility.


Anna and her two children.

“For the first time in a very long time, I’m looking forward to the future. LifeWire saved my life.”

Anna, Survivor

Turning To LifeWire For Help

When Angela found out she was expecting her first child, she was thrilled. She thought everything was “fine” with her marriage until the arguing, insults, and visits to the emergency room began. Every night she would become afraid when she heard the key turn in the lock, knowing that her partner was home from work.


One weekend, when Angela’s husband violently assaulted her in front of her young son, she called LifeWire. Her advocate helped her file a police report and a protection order and moved Angela and her son into a confidential hotel while the police searched for her abuser. After he was arrested, she was able to break her lease and move to a safe, confidential apartment.


At LifeWire, she found a safe place where she could talk with a mental health therapist and begin to heal from the recurring anxiety brought on by being traumatized and abused. Today, Angela has a healthy three-year-old son, works at a job she loves, and is living in her own apartment. Angela credits LifeWire with this powerful transformation.

Angela and her son

“It’s important to know there’s a safe place for survivors to go to, a place to heal and overcome the trauma they have experienced,” she explains.
“It helps to talk with someone that really understands what that fear and betrayal feel like.

Angela, Survivor

Stop Asian Hate

Stop Asian Hate

Our hearts go out to the families of the eight people, including six Asian women, who were murdered in Atlanta, Georgia, during Tuesday night’s terrorist attack. Our thoughts are also with Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities across the country and locally who recently have been the repeated target of violence and racism.

All violence and oppression are connected. We condemn the anti-Asian hate crimes in Atlanta and closer to home in South Seattle and Renton.

Continue reading “Stop Asian Hate”

Domestic violence, mob violence, a call for justice

White LifeWire logo on teal background

As a Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) member, LifeWire echoes their statement about last week’s violent and racist attacks on democracy at the U.S. and Washington State Capitols.

“Survivors of abuse and survivor advocates recognize and understand the tactics that are being used by some elected officials, including the President, and extremist supporters: intimidation, gaslighting, use of privilege to avoid arrest or other consequences, violence, and then denying, victim-blaming, and minimizing. People who use abusive tactics often feel entitled to power and control over others. If no one holds them accountable for their abuse, they are emboldened and escalate their violence as a result. This is what allows domestic and sexual violence to continue in our society. Therefore, we refuse to be silent.”

We encourage you to take a moment to read WSCADV’s full statement.

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

LifeWire stands against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Manuel Ellis, as well as the countless others killed by police and perpetuated by systemic racial inequality in the United States. For over 400 years, Black and Brown mothers, fathers, children, brothers, and sisters have been victimized by inequity built into the very foundation of many American institutions.

As a DV organization, LifeWire knows that Black people have a disproportionate experience of violence across our communities. A staggering forty percent of Black women will face domestic violence in their lifetimes. They’re also two and a half times more likely to be murdered by men than their white counterparts.

Continue reading “Black Lives Matter”

Charleena Lyles statement by Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence

Re-posted from the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence,
of which LifeWire is a proud member.

Charleena Lyles Should Be Alive

In this moment, we send our deepest condolences to Charleena’s family and write to lift up her humanity.

To our community of advocates and others working to support survivors of violence: we see you and we are committed to supporting you.

Charleena Lyles should be alive, not dead. But in this new reality, where the memory of Charleena is a hot, bright fire, we are angry.

Continue reading “Charleena Lyles statement by Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence”

We Have Dreams: what MLK Day means to us

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. looking pensive with hand to face, white text on purple background: our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream. That my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Imagining peace

Last week, 11-year-old Brian was asked to bring this famous quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to life. He started by drawing a large circle. Then he colored in blotches of green and blue to represent our earth. Slowly, he started adding stick figures around the globe, some black; some white; some brown. All of them were standing arm in arm in unity.

Brian’s picture is in a scrapbook, along with other hand-drawn images from children who attend LifeWire’s weekly support group. The kiddos drew images as part of a “We Have Dreams” project – each one meant to breathe life into the dynamic words of Dr. King’s famous speech, delivered on August 28, 1963.

Continue reading “We Have Dreams: what MLK Day means to us”