Get Help

Am I Being Abused?

It is not always easy to figure out if certain actions that your partner does would be considered abuse or not.

You may make excuses for your partner’s behavior or convince yourself that you are overreacting and that what you are going through is “not so bad.” However, the general pattern of domestic violence is that abuse gets worse over time. If you can identify the signs of abuse early on in the relationship, you may have a better chance of getting out safely.

Domestic Violence is defined as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.

Safety Planning

When you or someone you know is ready to leave an abusive relationship, it is important to create a safety plan.

No one deserves to be abused. Our hope is that if you are being abused, you will be able to find a way to safely get out of the abusive relationship. However, the reality is that for many different reasons, some survivors are not able to leave an abusive relationship once the abuse begins. If you’re in a physically abusive relationship, please consider the following tips to help try to keep you and your children safe until the time comes when you are able to leave.

Following these suggestions and safety plan cannot guarantee your safety, but following these tips could help make you safer. However, it is important that you create a safety plan that is right for you. Not all of these suggestions will work for everyone, and some could even place you in greater danger. You have to do what you think is best to keep yourself and your children safe.

Finding a Lawyer

When leaving an abusive relationship, you may need to seek legal counsel.

A lawyer referral service can help you find a lawyer who has experience in domestic violence. You should make sure to specifically ask whether they screen for those who are experienced in handling domestic violence cases because not all lawyer referral services do this.

If you can’t afford a lawyer, you may be able to get help from a legal aid, who provides free or low-cost legal help. If they can’t help you, they might be able to refer you to someone who can take your case on a sliding scale fee or for free. Some legal aid organizations that give referrals don’t advertise that they do, so be sure to specifically ask for a referral if you need one.

Shelters and other domestic violence  organizations may also be able to provide you with a referral for someone who can take your case for a lower fee. You may also want to try law schools in your area because sometimes they have legal clinics and will take cases for free.

How to help someone in need

If you know or suspect that a family member, friend or work colleague is experiencing domestic violence, it can be difficult to know what to do.

Supportive statements that you can say to survivors include:

  • “I’m sorry this happened.”
  • “It’s not your fault.” 
  • “I believe you.” 
  • “You are not alone.”

National resources for survivors of domestic violence include:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.7233
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.4673