Domestic violence is terrifyingly common, and yet hardly talked about. The lack of awareness makes it difficult for people to recognize whether their loved ones might be affected, and even more difficult for people in toxic situations to leave. While most people tend to form an image in their mind of a battered and bruised woman, physical violence usually doesn’t come in until later on in an abusive relationship and, this is really important, women are not the only people affected by domestic violence. People of Color and people who don’t fall under the umbrella of “cis or straight” are affected at an overwhelmingly higher rate.
To illuminate yourself further, please take the time to read the below article. While it was created for ongoing education purposes, it covers a lot of good information.
You can find even more extremely helpful information here:
- TED Talk – Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why Domestic Violence Victims Don’t Leave (15 minute video)
- Help Guide: guides to recognizing signs of abuse, how to safely navigate before and after leaving, recognizing child and elder abuse, recovering from sexual assault
Now that you’ve done that, what else can you do? It can be incredibly dangerous for the suspected abuser to be confronted, especially for the person you’re concerned about. The highest risk of violence to survivors tends to be immediately after leaving an abusive situation, so it’s important to make sure that discretion is your first priority.
Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with shelters and support in your area. Some help centers are national and international organizations, but most focus on the communities they’re a part of. To make this list as comprehensive as possible, please feel free to send me links to resources in your area.
- HotPeachPages: a global list of abuse hotlines, shelters, crisis centers, and women’s organizations, as well as abuse information in 115+ languages
- Mystic Mag: international domestic violence resource guide, very helpful for anyone outside of the US
National Resources – USA
- United Way: Call 211
- The Hotline – also Local state resources listed on The Hotline: Confidential and free, available 24/7, provides tools and support
- Battered Women’s Justice Project
- Creditcards.com and Bank Rate have guides to protect your finances while escaping abuse
- The Recovery Village has resources to help fight addiction as well as fleeing violent situations
- Cutter Law has a guide for safe ridesharing
- Sunshine Behavioral Health