Find resources and programs in your state that provide support for women who have experienced abuse. If you do not find your state on this list, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline to find a program in your area. You can call the hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233).
Planning for safety
Create a Safety Plan
If you are in or are planning to leave a violent relationship, it is important to make a safety plan first. You should talk to someone you trust about your plan if possible.
- Know where you can get help. Keep a list of important phone numbers (police, domestic violence hotline, hospital).
- Plan with your children. Identify a safe place for them (room with a lock, neighbor’s house). Let them know that their job is to stay safe; not to protect you.
- Arrange a signal with a neighbor for when you need help.
- Prepare an emergency kit that you can get to quickly. (You may want to keep it at a trusted friend’s/neighbor’s house.)
- An extra set of car and house keys
- Money, food stamps, checkbook, credit card(s), pay stubs
- Birth certificates and other ID for you and your children
- Driver’s license or other photo identification
- Social security card or green card/work permit
- Health insurance cards, medications for you and your children
- Deed or lease to your house or apartment
- Any court papers or orders
- Change of clothes for you and your children
- Plan the safest time to get away. Know how you will leave and which doors or windows you will use.
How to help someone you know who may be in an abusive relationship
*Listen to their story and believe them.
Hold what you are told in confidence.
*Encourage your friend to think about safety. Help your friend make concrete plans that deal with the most likely “what ifs.”
*Reach out to a domestic violence program.
*Help the victim understand what he or she is feeling. A person who has been abused often feels upset, depressed, confused and scared. Let him or her know these are normal feelings. Find a private place to speak with the victim and ask open-ended, non-threatening questions. For example, “You seem to be a little down. Would you like to talk about it?”
*Phone the police if you are concerned about the person’s safety. Do not physically intervene in domestic violence.
*Never discuss the violence in the presence of the abuser. The victim may feel too threatened to speak freely in the presence of his or her abusive partner and if he or she does speak out, the repercussions may be serious.
*If the victim does leave the abusive relationship, never pass on information about his or her whereabouts to anyone.
*Don’t make decisions for the victim; rather encourage him or her to seek help. It is usually best to let him or her decide to stay, leave or seek help.
Learn More About the
Women and men are are physically abused by a domestic partner annually in the United States.
1 in 5
Women in the United States have been raped in their life time.
Of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female
If you’re in an abusive relationship, you are not alone. This is not the life you have to live. There is more out there for you. we are in this together and we here to help you find it.
If you are in an abusive relationship, packing up and leaving is never as simple or as safe as it seems. Ending a significant relationship is never easy. It’s even harder when you’ve been isolated from your family and friends, psychologically beaten down, financially controlled, and/or physically threatened.
If you’re trying to decide whether to stay or leave, you may be feeling confused, uncertain, frightened, and torn. Maybe you’re still hoping that your situation will change or you’re afraid of how your partner will react if he discovers that you’re trying to leave. One moment, you may desperately want to get away, and the next, you may want to hang on to the relationship. Maybe you even blame yourself for the abuse or feel weak and embarrassed because you’ve stuck around in spite of it. Don’t be trapped by confusion, guilt, or self-blame. The only thing that matters is your safety.
If you are being abused, remember:
- You are not to blame for being battered or mistreated
- You are not the cause of your partner’s abusive behavior
- You deserve to be treated with respect
- You deserve a safe and happy life
- Your children deserve a safe and happy life
- You are not alone. There are people waiting to help
There are many resources (some can be found through our most recent posts) available for abused and battered individuals, including crisis hotlines, shelters—even job training, legal services, and childcare. Start by reaching out today.