Life Span
Life Span campaign leader

This year Life Span has reached a milestone in our work in Cook County: 35 years of providing comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and their children, helping victims and their children obtain safety, hold abusers accountable, and end the scourge of violence form our communities. Life Span has helped over 130,000 survivors since 1978. We know we would not be here today without your sustained support.

While there are many exceptional stories that we witness every year at Life Span, we wanted to share this one with you. Mary’s relationship with Life Span illustrates the comprehensive, continually responsive and supportive approach we take toward the individual needs of our clients.

Mary moved with her abuser from the Asia in 1993. She was alone, without family or friends and in a very controlling and physically and emotionally abusive relationship. The years of abuse had made Mary ashamed, hopeless, and weary. Then, in 2009, Mary found out about Life Span and began to see one of our counselors for weekly individual sessions. Mary also attended a support group at Life Span. The support group helped Mary realize she was not alone; that others suffered as she suffered. , Mary learned about her rights as a domestic violence survivor and she gradually gained the strength to leave. Working with Life Span staff, she developed a safety plan and obtained an Order of Protection. In time, Mary was ready to file for divorce, seeking custody of her 9 year old son. For over a year, her Life Span attorney fought for Mary’s rights against the abuser and his attorney. Mary’s attorney won full custody and a visitation schedule that protected both Mary and her son, as well as child support which would be crucial to Mary’s ability to stay separate from the abuser.

Unfortunately, after leaving her abuser, Mary lost her job. Mary enrolled in Life Span’s Economic Stability Project. Mary took a computer class for displaced workers and updated her computer skills to make herself more marketable. While Mary was actively looking for work, Life Span assisted Mary with resources for affordable housing. Using her networking skills acquired from her job readiness training, Mary found a website for municipal jobs. Life Span assisted Mary with her resume and interview skills, as well as helping Mary obtain interview outfits and business wear. Mary was eventually offered a job with the city of Chicago, which she happily accepted.

Fortunately, with her new job, she was able to secure housing at the time she needed it. Now Mary has a well-paying full time job, full custody of her child, an Order of Protection, child support, and is divorced from her abuser. She is living a healthy, happy life.

Life Span is committed to the mission we developed 35 years ago: the cessation of domestic violence and to the immediate relief of those who suffer from its consequences.

Life Span continues to directly experience the repercussions of an economy that has yet to recover from the crash of 2008 as government and private grants we have relied on for years dry up. We have been working diligently to find new sources of revenue. More than ever before, your financial assistance is critical to keeping Life Span open for the thousands of women, men, and children seeking safety every year.

Please know that your donation makes all the difference to each adult and child who comes to us for help.

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