Once Becky decided to take the crucial step of leaving her emotionally and physically abusive husband, money and a place to live were critical impediments.
While she had a well-paying job, her husband controlled all their bank accounts and finances, and trying to access them would alert him to her intentions. And because her beloved golden retriever was also suffering at her husband’s hand, the need to remove her from the situation added to the challenge of finding a safe, new home.
Then she spoke with the team at LifeWire, which implements the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Domestic Violence Housing First approach, supporting survivors of abuse.
“LifeWire helped me find a place, but I still didn’t have the deposit and initial rent money, let alone the pet deposit. I just felt it was so much to ask for, but they provided it all,” Becky recalls.
“I just burst into tears because I knew at that point I would be able to leave and I would be able to take my dog with me.”
Her story is not unique. In fact, domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children – more than 80 per cent of homeless mothers with children have previously experienced domestic violence, showcasing the importance of housing and domestic violence service providers working together.
For Becky, LifeWire was there every step of the way – helping arrange mail and banking so her husband couldn’t find her, and supporting her decision.
“It’s the emotional side of it too. Talking to them was the first step; it was the catalyst to where my life is now,” Becky reflects. “They gave me hope after years of being told I was worthless. Without them, I would have been stuck in that situation, unhappy and unsafe.”
Refuse to Abuse: Domestic violence is preventable
Becky remembers offering to pay back the money she received to start her new life. LifeWire told her no, her focus was on getting back on her feet, but she hasn’t forgotten everything they did for her.
Today she shares her story and her time to raise awareness about domestic violence and the organizations working with survivors – and that domestic violence IS preventable.
That’s a key message of July 21’s Refuse To Abuse 5k at Safeco Field, a unique run/walk taking participants around every level of Safeco Field, from the top to the players’ tunnel to the final lap around the field.
Building on the 22-year partnership between the Seattle Mariners and WSCADV to promote healthy, respectful relationships through the Refuse To Abuse campaign, each year, Mariners players share the message that we all have a role to play in ending domestic violence.
To find the domestic violence program in your community, visit wscadv.org or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800- 787-3224 (TTY).
And register today for the Refuse To Abuse 5K at Safeco Field: refusetoabuse5k.org.