Getting Help with Domestic Violence
More than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men across the United States have experienced violence from an intimate partner. If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence, you are not alone. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Program (FVPSA), is the primary Federal funding stream for a national network of domestic violence shelters and programs.
Reaching out for help to stop domestic violence in your relationship, and navigating the complex resources in your community can be difficult. It can be hard to know where to go for the help you want and it may not be clear how these programs can support your efforts to live a life free of violence and abuse—but you are not alone! The resources listed below are great places to start your journey towards safety, hope and healing. Many of these national organizations can guide you to more in-depth and knowledgeable resources in your community and surrounding areas.
These hotlines offer support from well trained, caring advocates 24/7/365 (including holidays). Advocates help victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape or sexual violence find support and assistance in their communities, even if you only need someone to talk to before making that first step.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 - Secure online chat at http://www.thehotline.org/what-is-live-chat/
- National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline – 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453 - Secure online chat at http://www.loveisrespect.org/get-help/contact-us/chat-with-us or text “loveis” to 22522
- National Sexual Assault Hotline (RAINN) – 1-800-656-4673 Choose #1 to talk to a counselor - Secure online private chat at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/
- Stalking Resource Center – Access online resources to learn things you can do if you or someone you know is being stalked
By calling any of the national hotlines, a trained advocate will be able to connect you to a program in your community. As you make decisions about how to get away from the abuse and ensure your own safety, developing a safety plan becomes more and more important. Caring advocates on the hotline and in your local program can help you think through how to be safe in an emergency, during a domestic violence incident, while getting help from resources in the community, and when you’re with your children—this is called a “safety plan.”
To learn more about tribal domestic violence programs and resources available for Native/Indigenous communities, contact the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women funds tribal domestic violence services.
State Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalitions
There is a state domestic violence coalition for every State and United States Territory. Each Coalition represents the domestic violence and sexual violence service providers in their state or territory; they are connected to more than 2,000 local domestic violence programs and shelters. You can find the domestic violence coalition working with programs in your state at the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s website. Select your state from the list and then look for the link to their members or programs for a listing of the resources in your city or county.
Local/Community-based Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Programs
In addition to offering safe, emergency shelter, there are many ways that local domestic violence programs and advocates can partner with you to live a life free of violence and abuse. Services may vary from place to place, but most include:
- Safety planning assistance;
- Legal assistance and referrals for obtaining protection orders (which may include evicting an abusive partner from a shared home, obtaining emergency child custody, and many such remedies to increase your safety);
- Counseling and support groups for survivors and their children;
- Help applying for public assistance and housing subsidies;
- Transitional housing; and
- Referrals to counseling, mental health, and addiction services.
National Resource Centers and Culturally Specific Institutes
All of the service providers listed above—the hotlines, shelters, state coalitions, and tribal programs—work together and receive training, assistance, guidance, and support from several national resource center and culturally specific institutes. These organizations make up the Domestic Violence Resource Network (DVRN), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to inform and strengthen domestic violence intervention and prevention efforts at the individual, community, and societal levels.
There are two national resource centers working collaboratively to promote practices and strategies to improve our nation’s response to domestic violence:
There is a national network of specialized resource centers that work to address domestic violence responses across these specific systems:
2. Child Protection System and Child Custody; and
There is also a network of culturally specific resource centers that works to address the impact of domestic violence within and culturally relevant responses for the following ethnic and racially specific communities:
- African American Communities;
- Asian and Pacific Islander Communities; and
- Hispanic and Latina Communities
Get the Facts!
Being aware and educated about relationship violence is a key step to preventing violence before it starts. The resources below can help anyone learn more about relationship violence and the impact of abuse.
Learn More About Domestic Violence and Dating Abuse
If you have questions about whether what you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you figure out, Is This Abuse?
To learn more about domestic violence and the many issues that intersect with it, please visit VAWnet: National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. For more structured learning, please view this online eLearning module, Domestic Violence: Understanding the Basics.
To learn more about healthy teen relationships, or how to help a friend, please read Love is Respect's Dating Basics. Help raise awareness by sharing this video from Vice President Biden’s prevention campaign, 1is2Many.
Understanding the Law
To learn more about legal resources and information available to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, please visit WomensLaw.org, a project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Learn More About Sexual Violence
To learn more about sexual violence and resources available within local communities, please visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
Learn More About Stalking
To learn more about stalking please visit the Stalking Resource Center’s website. Understand your rights and how to document the actions of others that are creating a dangerous and unsafe environment.
- Help for LGBTQ Relationship Violence: From the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Key Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation, data indicates that individuals who self-identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual experience intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking at equal or higher rates than individuals who self-identify as heterosexual. For more information and resources on prevention of relationship violence within LGBTQ communities, visit the Northwest Network.
Last Reviewed: June 11, 2015