I’m being abused by my intimate partner. What should I do?
First, be aware that your activities may be monitored or recorded by the person abusing you. If you are afraid your internet usage may be monitored, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. (Users of web browser Microsoft Edge will be redirected to Google when clicking the “X” or “Escape” button.)
If you are seeking information, help, or simply questioning unhealthy aspects of your relationship, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides highly-trained advocates available 24/7. You can also use a safe, private and secure Chat Online option.
Remember, help is available. You are not alone.
Hotlines: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or 800-942-6908 (Espagnol)
Am I in danger?
Many people experiencing domestic violence struggle to determine whether they are in danger. Mosaicmethod.com offers a free online assessment that will tell you how dangerous your partner is to you (compared to a database of abusers). Please make sure you have time to answer all 50 questions and are in a safe environment to fill out the assessment.
If you are in danger, please consider calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Advocates will help you formulate a personalized, step-by-step safety plan. You can see sample safety plans here.
How can I leave my abuser safely?
To find help near you, please visit National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you are in Canada, please visit this Canadian resource site.
I can’t find help in my area. What should I do?
If you cannot get help from your local domestic violence program, call your state coalition against domestic violence and explain your need. The staff there can help refer you to another resource. Find your state coalition here.
Can my abuser change?
This is not a question anyone can answer. They may change a little. They may get worse. They may change a lot (however, this is rare). There is no way to predict this.
Your partner needs to seek help on their own in order to change their behavior. This is difficult to do for someone who abuses others and may have substance use or mental health issues.
If your partner recognizes that they have a problem, they might consider attending a Batterer Intervention Program (BIP). To find BIP programs near you, or to learn more about them, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
My abusive partner is a law enforcement officer. What should I do?
Domestic violence is 2-4 times higher in the law enforcement community than in the general population. Many advocates and shelters are aware of this; if you are comfortable doing so, it is best to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for guidance.
Additional tips for navigating this process are available here.
I’m in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. Will seeking help jeopardize my immigration status?
Domestic violence is against the law regardless of your immigration status. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for assistance or visit this page for more information on immigration. Abusers may use immigration status and deportation threats as a control tactic.
If you have questions or concerns about immigration, an immigration attorney should be your first point of contact. Women’s Law provides attorney referrals. Please consult this list before moving forward.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you have the right to a protection order for you and your children, the right to legal separation or divorce without spousal consent, and the right to ask for custody of your child(ren) and financial support regardless of your immigration or citizenship status.
My religion is important to me. Are faith-based resources available?
Yes. People of any religion can visit the Faithtrust Institute for information and materials produced by or for many of the major religions. The RAVE (Religion And E-violence) website includes a map of domestic violence shelters and ministries in North America, as well as resources for communities and clergy.
For Christian women, God Hates Abuse and Called to Peace are free on-line victim support groups.
Does domestic violence occur in the LGBTQ community?
Yes. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has noted that the same power and control tactics present in heterosexual relationships are present in LGBTQ relationships. Abusers may also reinforce their power by threatening to “out” their partner or convincing them that they will not receive help because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and recognizes the challenges faced by this population.