Here are 5 Domestic Abuse Resources you need to know!
Remember, if you are in immediate physical danger, always call 911 for help!
1.National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
This is a nationwide hotline with online chat available 24/7. Advocates who respond to hotline calls offer free and confidential information to domestic abuse survivors.
NDVH can also help refer you to local resources and talk you through your options.
www.thehotline.org warns us (potential victims especially included) that internet usage can be monitored and not completely erased.
Contact the organization to learn more about digital security.
Please remember to be cautious and clear your browser history after visiting sites like theirs. Abusers do not want you to get help and may become more dangerous or aggressive.
2. National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474
The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline offers 24/7 information and support for people between the ages of 13-26. Call about questions, concerns, or to find help from abusive relationships.
Teens can use the hotline as well as concerned friends, family, teachers, and counselors who need advice about a potentially abusive situation.
3. Your state's Department of Social Services
Check with your state's Department of Social Services for more information about local resources.
Your state likely has a wide range of agencies, shelters, and nonprofit partners who can help connect you with helpful resources near your home.
The link below has a state-by-state resource list with contact information and a directory of services to assist Domestic Abuse Victims.
The Office on Women's Health has a state-by-state list of agencies to help victims of Domestic Abuse.
4. Learn your rights and get legal help at Women's Law
Any type of violence is illegal, but there are still many questions about what your rights as a victim are.
The law can be incredibly confusing if you own property, have children, or financially rely on your abuser.
Through www.womenslaw.org, you can learn about specific state laws that protect victims and communicate through a confidential email hotline to get more specific legal advice.
5. The Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund
If you want to help domestic abuse victims on a broader level or learn more about victim advocacy, consider supporting the Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Go to: www.legalmomentum.org to donate today.
The Fund advocates for legal fairness for victims, laws intended to help victims, and educational initiatives.
The Women's Legal Defense and Education fund also offers courses for victim advocates and counselors who help victims of Domestic Abuse.
9 Forms of Domestic Violence
Cyberstalking- This refers to the act of online actions like repeated emailing or catfishing attempts.
Economic or Financial Abuse- These abusers want victims to be financially reliant on them.
Economic abusers withhold money and eventually try to prohibit the victim from financial independence by stopping them from going to school or work.
Emotional Abuse- This is a tricky form of Domestic Abuse because victims are often made to feel like their self-worth is always in question.
Emotional abusers demean, use name-calling, and constant criticism to ensure the victim's self-esteem is fractured.
Litigation Abuse- These abusers use the court system against the victim, usually during separation or divorce attempts.
This form of Abuse is challenging to address because it is hard to stop an abuser from filing repeated motions or petitions, requesting more complicated procedures and appellant processes, and more.
Physical Abuse- This form of Abuse is usually the most obvious because you can visually see the bruises or scars.
However, it is important to know that physical Abuse also includes medical aspects such as denying medical treatment or medicine.
Physical Abuse also includes forcing the victim to use drugs or alcohol too.
Psychological Abuse- This form of Abuse may seem like emotional Abuse, but they are not the same!
It involves isolating victims from loved ones, inciting fear by threatening to physically hurt people close to the victim, or threats of suicide. Even pets can be threatened or harmed to Abuse the victim further.
Psychological abusers may intimidate, antagonize, and potentially prohibit victims from social activities like work, school, or family events.
Reproductive Abuse- This form involves the abuser controlling the victim's reproductive choices.
Sexual Abuse and Exploitation- This form of Abuse involves forcing a non-consenting child or adult into sexual acts.
The acts can range from wanting or making the victim dress provocatively (sexy) to insulting the victim with sexually explicit or demeaning comments, requests, or demands.
These abusers may forcefully hold the victim down during attacks, threaten to beat, hurt, or kill the victim.
Sexual Abusers may manipulate victims into have sex or performing sexual acts or may allow other people to have sexual activities with victims.
They only care about their sexual needs, objectify, and ignore the person's needs being victimized.
These abusers view the victim as their property. They will often accuse victims of cheating on the "relationship," or the abusers may be extremely jealous of anyone outside of the abuser/victim relationship.
Stalking- This form of Abuse involves continuous acts of behaviors that include but are not limited to:
Following, spying on, watching secretly (or not so secretly), harassment, gift-giving, collecting personal information on the victim or their family/friends.
These offenders may leave unwanted written messages, pictures, or cards.
Stalkers may suddenly appear at a victim's workplace, home, or social events. Please be cautious when dealing with stalkers.
These acts may initially seem harmless, but things usually escalate into a dangerous or life-threatening situation!
What is Domestic Abuse - Domestic Violence, and who does it affect?
In April 2018, the (DOJ) United States Department of Justice revised its Domestic Violence definition, according to, U.S. DOJ Changes Definition of Domestic Violence - Jessica Yaffa - Relationship Expert.
The old definition, according to (DOJ) the United States Department of Justice Office is:
"Domestic Violence, aka Domestic Abuse, is a pattern of abusive behavior in ANY RELATIONSHIP that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate (or closely related) partner. Domestic Violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This included any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone."
The revised version of Domestic Violence definition is:
According to DOJ, " The term "domestic violence" includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction."
The NEW definition of Domestic Violence does not consider Psychological Abuse, Coercive Control, or Manipulation as Domestic Violence.
Remember that domestic Abuse can look different from case to case. Domestic Abuse can affect any member of a household!
Victims may include but are not limited to being:
The coronavirus pandemic spearheaded a surge in reported Domestic Abuse nationwide as people spent more time at home and isolated.
You can empower yourself and others by understanding the resources that are available for victims of Domestic Abuse.
Abuse also comes in many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, economic, and psychological types of manipulation and Abuse, according to a 2021 report by the National Institutes of Health.
Statistics show women are much more likely to be victims of Domestic Abuse than men. With 1-in-3 adult women and 1-in-10 adult men said to experience domestic violence, according to the NIH.
It is essential to point out that Domestic Abuse is thought to be widely underreported so that these numbers could be drastically higher.
Furthermore, economic hardships have a noticeable effect on the rate of reported Domestic Abuse to Domestic Violence hotlines.
With many families and households still struggling with the effects of COVID-19, it's never been more important to be familiar with the resources available to victims of Domestic Abuse.
Even if you are not experiencing domestic Abuse, you could be a life-saving resource for friends, family members, or neighbors.
Other key pieces of advice to remember when dealing with domestic Abuse:
Create a personal safety plan!
The National Domestic Violence Hotline NDVH has an interactive online tool that helps you create a personal safety plan.
Your plan will include ideas and resources you can easily refer to in case you need help. You will also get a small emergency contact card that you can fill out and discreetly keep in your wallet.
Don't make assumptions.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline stresses that you should never assume you understand someone's situation without asking first.
Before you try to intervene or help someone, always ask them for consent or what they need from you.
Ask questions like, "Do you need help?" or "How can I help?"
Of course, if someone is in immediate danger and unable to speak, call 911!
It is important to ask for consent because the victim may already be working on a plan on their own to leave their abusive situation, but there are still ways to assist them.
You can offer to care for their children, watch their pets, run errands for them, or simply listen to what they're going through.
Find a family law attorney near you and ask if your situation matches domestic Abuse's legal definition (if you're unsure).
A family lawyer can answer questions or concerns you may have and direct you to other support channels.
"Check" in with your friends and loved ones consistently.
Even as the world reopens after COVID-19 restrictions, people may still be feeling alone and isolated.
Be sure to keep up with your friends and loved ones even if you don't suspect they're in an abusive situation.
Take time to care for yourself.
Stress can have negative and lasting impacts on your physical and mental health.
If you're going through a difficult or abusive situation, take as much time as you can for self-care and rest every day.
Reach out to a counselor.
Domestic Abuse is complicated to understand and recover from emotionally.
A qualified professional counselor or trusted religious leader can listen and offer objective advice for how you can begin to move forward following an abusive situation.
If you or someone you know has experienced Domestic Abuse, reach out to a counselor near you.
Huecker, Martin R.; King, Kevin C.; Smock, Gary A. Jordan: William. (2021, February 17 ). Domestic Violence. Retrieved from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499891/ legalmomentum.org. (n.d.). Our Legal Impact. Retrieved from legalmomentum.org: https://www.legalmomentum.org/our-legal-impact National Domestic Violence Hotline. (n.d.). Create a Safety Plan. Retrieved from thehotline.org: https://www.thehotline.org/plan-for-safety/create-a-safety-plan/ The United States Department of Justice. (n.d.). Domestic Violence. Retrieved from www.justice.gov: https://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2017). Relationships and Safety. Retrieved from womenshealth.gov: https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/ WomensLaw.org. (n.d.). Forms of Abuse. Retrieved from womenslaw.org: https://www.womenslaw.org/about-abuse/forms-abuse writer, S. (n.d.). Domestic violence: statistics & facts. Retrieved 4 7, 2021, from Safe Horizon: http://www.safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence-statistics--facts-52.html