A New Home for ReWA’s DV Team
After months of planning and preparation, ReWA’s Domestic Violence Program moved into a new home in Seattle’s Central District. Both staff and clients love the new office; it is modern, conveniently located, and discrete to protect the safety and privacy of our clients.
ReWA’s Domestic Violence Program was established in 1985. From a small program with 2 full-time Domestic Violence Advocates, ReWA now offers comprehensive support services in 15 languages for survivors of abuse. Last year, ReWA’s Domestic Violence Program helped 578 women recover from violence and live healthy lives that are full of possibility. Nadifa, one of the women helped by ReWA’s Domestic Violence Program, now has the safety and security to pursue her dreams.
Nadifa arrived to the United States in September 2013 with her husband and four young children, leaving behind friends, family, and community in the refugee camp. What she didn’t leave behind was the physical and sexual violence that had relentlessly plagued her marriage. After attending the wedding of a friend one evening, Nadifa returned home to find her husband irate and holding a knife. He beat and kicked her as she screamed for help. She managed to escape and call the police. Upon hearing the approaching sirens, Nadifa’s husband cut himself with the knife. Even though his injury was self-inflicted, Nadifa was arrested and spent three days in jail.
That’s when Nadifa found ReWA.
ReWA placed Nadifa and her children into safe, confidential housing and advocated on her behalf for DSHS benefits including food stamps, cash assistance, and childcare services. ReWA worked collaboratively with Nadifa’s criminal lawyer to fight the charges against her and help her file a superior protection order against her husband. ReWA coordinated with CPS for custody of her children, all of whom suffered trauma from witnessing acts of violence against their mother. Finally, Nadifa’s case was mediated with the help of a pro bono Family Law Attorney.
Nadifa and her children remain in safe housing while Nadifa attends college to fulfill her dreams of becoming a pre-school teacher. “From the first time she walked through our doors to now, she is a completely different person” her case manager at ReWA observes. “She told me, ‘you brought my smile back.’”