A Resource for Victims of Domestic Violence
Becoming a victim of domestic violence is unfortunately all too common. Sometimes, impacted individuals hesitate to find help, because they feel embarrassed or ashamed of the situation. Connecting with domestic violence resources and support services is a helpful step towards increased safety and decreased feelings of shame and isolation.
Domestic violence does not discriminate. It is an issue across race, gender, socio-economic status and age. The number of victims is shocking and the frequency of incidents comes as a surprise to most people. These are the basics:
- More than 10 million men and women are victims of domestic violence each year.
- Over the course of their lifetime, violence affects one out of every three women and one out of every four men.
- Domestic violence incidents make up at least 15 percent of the nation's violent crime.
- While domestic violence affects people of every age, women are at highest risk between the ages of 18 - 24.
- Up to 65 percent of domestic violence victims do not obtain medical assistance for their injuries.
Resources for Domestic Violence Victims
If you become a victim of domestic violence, there are a wide range of support services available to you. Any or all of these resources are prepared to assist you with medical care, making safe living arrangements and navigating the legal system. If you are concerned about a loved one, these resources also offer tools and education to help you help others.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
- National Dating Abuse Helpline -1-866-331-9474
- National Child Abuse Hotline/Child Help -1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
- National Resource Center on Domestic Violence - 1-800-537-2238
- Futures Without Violence: The National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence - 1-888-792-2873
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health - 1-312-726-7020 ext. 2011
- National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges -1-800-527-3233
- Domestic Violence Initiative - (303) 839-5510/ (877) 839-5510
- INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence - firstname.lastname@example.org
Most important: if you are in immediate danger, call 911 and/or go directly to the nearest emergency room.
Domestic Violence Shelter Basics
When you contact a domestic violence hotline, one of the priorities is to ensure your safety. Sometimes, that means moving to a domestic violence shelter for a period. Hotlines will put you in touch with the shelters in your area, helping you to secure a bed and make all necessary arrangements.
The idea of living in a domestic violence shelter can be frightening, even when you know it is the best way to stay safe. Knowing what to expect can ease the transition. These are answers to a few of the most common questions:
- The shelter location is typically not publicized, and you will probably be asked to keep the address confidential. This ensures your safety and the safety of other residents and staff.
- The shelter does not expect you to pay for their services.
- Shelters will assist you with transportation needs.
- Shelters offer support services for children.
- Most shelters do not allow pets, but they may offer assistance with making arrangements for your pet's care.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are many resources available to help you. Reach out to support services to better understand your options.