Resources for Survivors

Power and Control Wheels

Physical and sexual assaults, or threats to commit them, are the most apparent forms of domestic violence and are usually the actions that allow others to become aware of the problem. However, regular use of other abusive behaviors by the batterer, when reinforced by one or more acts of physical violence, make up a larger system of abuse. Although physical assaults may occur only once or occasionally, they instill threat of future violent attacks and allow the abuser to take control of the woman’s life and circumstances.

The Power & Control diagram is a particularly helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are used by a batterer to establish and maintain control over his partner. Very often, one or more violent incidents are accompanied by an array of these other types of abuse. They are less easily identified, yet firmly establish a pattern of intimidation and control in the relationship.

Power and Control Wheel

Equality Wheel

Power and Control Wheel Variations: 

Abuse Later In Life Wheel

Deaf Power and Control Wheel 

LGBT Power and Control Wheel

Gender Neutral Power and Control Wheel

Muslim Power and Control Wheel

People with Developmental Disabilities Power and Control Wheel

Police-Perpetrated Domestic Violence Power and Control Wheel

Batterers

Common Traits of Batterers

Abused women are victims; they are NOT responsible for provoking – or correcting the behavior of their abusers.

Batterers are someone an individual knows and loves. Initially, the batterer may seem charming, attentive, and supportive. They present in a non-violent manner in the early stages of relationships. Their behavior changes over time to become more controlling, demeaning and demanding. Their abusive behavior is learned and socially reinforced.

Batterer Characteristics

Excessive Jealousy – Has jealous reactions to many things in your life, including casual, minor contacts with such people as store clerks or neighbors. Often very jealous of friends, family, children, and pets.

Verbal Abusiveness – Uses putdowns such as “You’re stupid” or “You’re not a good mother” to destroy your self-esteem. The abusive language may escalate into rage or physical attacks.

Controlling Behavior – Demands rigid accounts of your every move, and will often make follow-up calls to confirm your whereabouts. A batterer is unwilling to distinguish between caring and controlling behavior. Will text/call frequently and expect an immediate response.

Attempts to Isolate You – Tries to destroy your relationships with your family and friends so that you can be broken and “molded” into an ideal victim. Isolation keeps you from getting reality checks or support from others beside the batterer. Forces you to choose “them or me.”

Unwillingness to Control Anger – Has frequent violent outbursts such as ramming fists through walls; often gets into brawls, often with little warning. A batterer often throws things, kicks things, and goes into verbal rages.

Use of Violence – Uses force or intimidation to “win” arguments; destroys physical objects; may have a history of cruelty to children as well as animals; may use force during sex.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse – Abuses substances, but not all batterers are addicts or alcoholics. Drugs and alcohol may make a batterer more violent – but they do not explain the violence. Batterers continue to batter even after they quit using drugs and alcohol.

Rigid Gender Roles – Believes that women are possessions and that they should cater to and unquestioningly obey men. Often has uncompromising ideas about what women’s and men’s roles, rights, and “duties” are.

Witness Domestic Violence in Childhood – Of batterers who are currently battering, 73% grew up in an abusive household or witnessed domestic violence as a child. This does not excuse their behavior. It gives them responsibility to learn to do something different from what they learned.

Lack of Sensitivity – Unwilling to appreciate other people’s feelings. Batterers believe that people who think or feel differently than themselves are wrong. It is the batterer’s way – or no way! May use the survivors past behavior/experiences against them during a fight. Or bring up the survivors’ insecurities against them.

Insecurity and Low Self-Esteem – Has overwhelming feelings of inadequacy regarding several areas of their life. Batterers work hard to hide their feelings. As such, they often appear confident, charming, and in control.

Denial of Responsibility – Blames violent episodes on the victims. Common statements include, “They made me do it,” and “If you hadn’t done —–, I wouldn’t have had to be violent.” Batterers believe they should not have to face consequences for their behavior. They think there are acceptable excuses for the violence and give themselves permission to batter.

Lack of Communication – Refuses to take responsibility to share honest feelings and thoughts. Does not talk through conflicts to an equally negotiated resolution. Batterers often “pick” on the survivor but when the survivor attempts to “pick” on the batterer, they blow up and accuse the survivor of being disrespectful. Double standards.

Lack of Intimacy – Typically thinks that sex = intimacy. Often does not show affection without sex. Batterers usually do not communicate about what would be equally pleasurable during sex.

Dependency – Wants to be taken care of without asking for it directly or sharing. Batterers think it is others’ responsibility to make sure their needs are met and they are the victim if someone is not taking care of them.

Self-Centered – Believe that the only things that are important are the things that pertain to them. They think everything should happen the way they want and they have the right to push as hard as necessary to get things their way. Batterers do not respect boundaries or other people’s opinions, thoughts, or feelings. They act as if they are the “Center of the Universe.”

 

Click Here to Read: Is Change Possible In An Abuser? 

Effects on Children

Effects on Children Who Witness Domestic Violence

The experience of witnessing domestic violence can have serious and long lasting effects on children, regardless of whether the children have been directly abused by a parent. The following is a summary of some of the effects that can result when a child witnesses violence between her/his parents.

Children will sometimes attempt to intervene, putting them at risk for physical harm. In one study, 63% of boys, ages 11-20, who committed homicide, murdered the man who was abusing their mother (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). Children often feel guilty that they were not able to prevent the violence and sometimes feel they were somehow to blame for the violence.

Depression, impaired trust, and low self-esteem are common in children who witness domestic violence.

Witnessing violence in the home often leads to behavior problems in children; typically children will develop aggressive or submissive behaviors. Children may identify with the role of the victim or the abuser.

Effects may include emotional problems in children such as anxiety disorders, phobias, learning problems, delayed social development and developmental delays.

Because of the emotional and behavioral effects of domestic violence, children may also develop academic or behavioral problems at school, drug or alcohol abuse, or delinquent behavior.

Research points to a strong tendency for the cycle of violence to continue to the next generation. Children from violent homes are at higher risk of getting involved in violent relationships as teens or adults. One researcher found, for example, that men who had witnessed domestic violence were three times as likely to abuse their own spouses. Sons of the most violent families have a rate of spouse abuse one thousand times greater than sons from nonviolent homes (Straus, 1980).

The Children’s Program at Artemis provides counseling and advocacy for children and teens who witnessed violence in their hoe.

Children’s Response to Domestic Violence by Age

Under 2 years

  • Respond to loud stimuli with increased fear (crying)
  • Developmental delays (slower to walk, crawl, talk, etc.)
  • Nightmares

2 – 5 years

  • Regressive behavior (lose toileting skills, baby talk, more clingy, revert to use of bottle)
  • Somatic problems
  • Nightmares
  • Hyper vigilance
  • Repetitive play, acting out domestic violence
  • Increased sibling violence
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Developmental delays (slower to learn ABC’s, read, etc.)
  • Decreased playfulness and spontaneity
  • Feel responsible for violence (believe if they behaved better, it would not occur)
  • Increased dependency on primary caretaker

6 – 12 years

  • Increased problems at school (misbehavior, grades drop)
  • Increased acting out, getting into trouble (may see lying, stealing, truancy, setting fires)
  • Often viewed by others as having attentional problems or learning disabilities
  • May withdraw and become reclusive rather than acting out
  • May take on role of “family hero” or caretaker
  • Increases anger directed at victim of violence (it is unsafe to direct anger at the perpetrator) batterer leaves anger escalates
  • Develop inflated sense of responsibility
  • Learn to disrespect the victim of violence because perpetrator models that behavior
  • Confuse love and violence (learn that people hit those they love)
  • Develop emotional problem such as depression

12 – 18 years

  • Aggressive behavior (violence to control others and solve problems)
  • Severe behavior and emotional problems (running away, theft, depression, anxiety)
  • Develop rigid sex roles – usually stereotypical
  • Increased incidence of dating violence
  • Self-destructive behavior (eating disorders, drug and alcohol)
  • Increase risk for early marriages and/or teen pregnancy (often as an escape from parents)
  • Increase risk for suicide and homicide
  • Develop poor boundary systems (either too rigid or too weak)
  • Develop distrust for most authority figures (or all adults)

For more information, call Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence
(937) 461-HELP (4357)

Artemis is a United Way Agency

LGBTQI+ Resources

LGBTQI+ Power and Control Wheel

Myths and Facts about Same-Sex Domestic Violence 

Sexual Assault and the LGBTQ Community

 

Beyond the LGBTQI+ Wheel: Tactics of Abuse Isolation and Outing

When people are first coming out, they are very vulnerable to abuse – they may be losing friends and family or may be alienated from their cultural, ethnic, religious familial community and institutions. The isolation that most LGBTQI+ people face as a result of homophobia is useful to a batterer who is trying to isolate their partner. Threatening to “out” a person (which could mean losing children, ostracism, job loss, etc) is a powerful tool of control.

Using Vulnerabilities

A batterer may use their own vulnerabilities to obligate or coerce their partner into staying, caring for them, and/or prioritizing batterer’s needs. Using vulnerabilities often results in survivors being exploited (resources, time attention) and undermines survivors’ attempts to negotiate boundaries or prioritize self.

Using Children

In many states, LGBTQI+ people are not allowed to be the legal parent of their children. Even in states where LGBTQI+ parents’ rights are protected, not all individuals have access to the systems to assert their legal rights. For a non-biological parent, the threat of having no contact with their children makes leaving an abuse relationship a complex to impossible choice.

Using Small Communities

Using friends or family and the small number or open and affirming community spaces to monitor a survivor and gather information, or to ostracize or threaten to ostracize the survivor. Please note: safety planning cannot reply on the survivor never being in a community space with the batterer. Communities are too small for this. We must do harm reduction planning or the survivors may “drop out” of the community to avoid the batterer and risk further isolation.

Leveraging Institutional Violence / Isolation

Law enforcement historically have used violence against LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ people also experience discrimination and oppression based on race, class, national origin, gender, and gender identity. Many LGBTQI+ people, and particularly transgender people, have experienced discrimination within the medical system. These things are used by batterers to increase control.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

LGBTQI+ people have historically been forced to make community in “illegal” and marginalized spaces such as bars. LGBTQI+ folks have higher rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse than in mainstream communities. Batterers leverage the ongoing consequences of ways that LGBTQI+ peoples’ lives have been historically criminalized as well as the realities of current drug use (and drug criminalization) when setting up/maintaining a system of power and control.

______________________________________________

“Beyond the Wheel” Bullet Points. This handout was developed by Connie Burk (2005), updated by Kristen Tucker (2009) for The NW Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse. P.O. Box 20398 Seattle, WA 98102.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries can be a result of domestic abuse. The CARE Card below was developed by Ohio Domestic Violence Network and can help you identify red flags and danger signs if you suspect you may have a head injury.

 

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Artemis Center’s Advocates are trained to assist victims who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. If you are in need of help, please reach out to an advocate on our hotline at 937-461-HELP.

Mental Health

How Abuse Might Affect Your Mental Health

Safety and Well-Being Tipsheet Series

Experiencing abuse can affect how we feel and how we respond to other people and the world around us. Our responses to abuse help us to survive and cope with the abuse and its traumatic effects, but these same responses can sometimes create obstacles to our safety, well-being, and life goals. Understanding how abuse has affected us can help us to access safety, heal from the traumatic effects of abuse, and support others to do the same.

If someone is abusing you, you might…

  • Feel scared, hurt, sad, confused, angry, embarrassed, or hopeless
  • Feel numb or like you can’t feel anything at all
  • Feel flooded or overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, or panic
  • Feel like you are losing your mind
  • Want to run away from or avoid something because it makes you feel scared or reminds you of past abuse
  • Use alcohol or other drugs as a way of surviving and coping with the abuse and its traumatic effects
  • Feel like you are spacing out when someone is talking to you
  • Feel like it’s hard to make decisions or get things done
  • Notice that the abuse makes your mental health symptoms worse
  • Feel tired all the time
  • Find it difficult just to get out of bed in the morning
  • Feel like you don’t want to live anymore – 24/7 SUICIDE & CRISIS HOTLINE: 988

You are not alone. Many people have feelings like these when they are being abused or after leaving an abusive relationship. 

Your abuser may blame you for feeling or acting these ways by…

  • Telling you that you are “crazy”
  • Telling you that you are stupid, lazy, or a bad parent
  • Telling you that no one will believe what you say
  • Telling you that you are the one with the problem

The abuse is not your fault. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.

Your abuser may also try to prevent you from feeling well by…

  • Depriving you of sleep and other basic needs
  • Controlling when or how you receive mental health treatment
  • Speaking for you or preventing you from talking to doctors or mental health professionals
  • Controlling your prescription medications (e.g., by giving you too much or too little)
  • Forcing or coercing you to use alcohol or other drugs, controlling your access to alcohol or other drugs, or interfering with substance abuse treatment

You have a right to control your own mental health treatment and medications

Your partner may try to use information about your mental health to convince friends, family, the police, prosecutors, or judges that…

  • You are lying
  • You are “crazy”
  • You are a bad parent
  • You should not have custody of the children
  • You were “out of control” and needed to be “restrained”

You deserve to be listened to and believed.

(Safety and Well-Being Tipsheet Series is from the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health)

 

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health: www.nationalcenterdvtraumamh.org

Resources for Professionals

Why survivors of intimate partner violence stay with their batterers :

People who don’t know a lot about the dynamics of partner abuse may ask, “Why would someone stay in a violent relationship?”. Some victims may ask themselves that same question. Here are some examples of things victims see as barriers to leaving their relationships. Though this list does not cover all victims’ experiences, it provides a framework to better understand some dynamics of abusive relationships.

Victims may stay in abusive relationships because:

  1. They feel safer with their batterers because they know what they are up to.
  2. They’re scared of their abusers. Victims believe that if they leave the relationship, their abusers will act on threats they’ve made in the past. Batterers often tell their victims they will hurt or kill them or people close to them, report them for welfare fraud or to Children Services, call the police on them for domestic violence, or “out” them to their family, friends or coworkers.
  3. Batterers often don’t get serious consequences for their abusive behavior.
  4. Involving the police can make the violence worse because batterers feel threatened. If arrested, batterers can be let out of jail in a few hours and go after their victims for reporting the abuse.
  5. Even if another person calls about the abuse or the state picks up charges against them, batterers often blame their victims. Victims know this and often deny the abuse to avoid being abused further.
  6. Community resources for victims may not be well known or easy to use. Victims may not know about their options.
  7. They may not receive help from the community because their abusers are well known or respected. Abusers are good at changing their personalities to hide abusive behavior in public.
  8. They may be used to focusing on the needs of their abusers and feel unsure about making decisions about their own safety and futures. When victims reach out for help, professionals often ask them to quickly decide their futures. Victims may feel uncomfortable with quick decision-making or big changes because they live in an environment where violent consequences discourage this.
  9. Victims often do not have the money to survive away from their abusers. Victims who leave with no money face homelessness.
  10. They may be afraid that if they report the violence, their batterers will lose their jobs or reputations which can have a negative impact on the families economic stability.
  11. Societal values cause victims to feel ashamed or embarrassed about the abuse.
  12. Victims may believe that outsiders shouldn’t be involved in family matters.
  13. Gender roles, cultural and religious beliefs may make victims feel like they have to pretend that nothing is wrong at home. Victims may also define their self-worth by their relationships.
  14. They may believe their children are better off in a two-parent household. Batterers also focus on kids as a way to keep victims from leaving by threatening to take them away from the victims or hurt them if they leave.
  15. Isolation from their family and friends decreases options for leaving relationships. Batterers are sometimes the only people victims can go to for support. Because abusers feel threatened by their victims’ relationships, they stop them from becoming close with others.
  16. Victims may only get limited support from their family and friends. Victims of partner abuse try to leave an average of four  to six times before they succeed. People close to them may not understand that leaving an abusive relationship is a long process and think victims fail when they go back with their abusers. They may also tell victims that their abusers are good people, that the abuse is not as bad as they say, or to go back and try harder to make things work.
  17. They may believe their batterers’ messages that the abuse is their fault, that it happens because of alcohol or drug use, that they just can’t control their anger, or that no one else will ever want the victims. These messages attack victims’ self-esteem and make them doubt the way they feel about the violence.
  18. Incidents of physical violence may occur in relatively short bursts. Afterward, their batterers may be gentle and loving, and promise to change, acts that are as manipulative as the physical violence. This is confusing to victims who may see their batterers as good, loving, people most of the time. Their batterers may convince them that they will change and their relationships will get better. Victims may not want the relationship to end, just the violence.
  19. They may have seen fighting in their homes while growing up and accept that violence in relationships is OK. Abusers also learn how to be violent from their families of origin. Growing up in violent homes may create a bond of common experience between abusers and victims.
  20. They may feel like their abusers need them and they can help them change.
  21. Victims may feel that if only they would change and stop making mistakes, then their abusers would stop hurting them.
  22. Victims may fear being alone or miss their abusers when they are separated. Victims may love their abusive partners and need the space to grieve the loss of their relationships.
  23. Victims may have a hard time knowing what abuse is. They may know their relationships are bad, but not see the abuse as the reason for this. Victims may feel that their batterers’ substance abuse, money problems, or stress outside the relationships cause the turmoil, not their abusers’ violence.
  24. Victims may not know that they have the right to be safe and live free from violence.

 

The Barriers Model:

An Integrated Strategy for Intervention with Battered Women

 

BY: Nancy Grisby / Brenda Hartman

The Barriers Model was developed in response to the strong codependency movement of the late 1980’s that pathologized battered women without recognizing or addressing the external and internal oppression that motivated their behaviors and symptoms. Battered women and their therapist recognized the pattern of these behaviors and began writing self-help books to address the needs of codependency issues. What these books failed to acknowledge is that these symptoms identified as codependency may not have been a disorder resulting in unhealthy patterns of intimacy, but instead, the very behaviors that allowed women to survive relationships with violent partners. (pg.485).It is probable that many of these women believe that the existing problems in their relationships are deeply rooted within themselves and thus changeable, (Again they are blaming themselves.) rather than acknowledging barriers that diminish their capacity to seek appropriate resources, i.e. legal, shelter,. Therapist may agree with the victims theory of codependency because most traditionally trained therapist have been taught to view all clients’ struggles from an individualistic, not social, perspective.

The Barriers Model places battered women in the center of four concentric circles. Each one representing a cluster of barriers in the woman’s experience that potentially impedes her safety. They may experience barriers in all layers or in some combination. There are four layers with subcategories: Barriers in the environment, family and social role expectations, psychological consequences of abuse and childhood abuse/Ng/. Therapist will have difficulty addressing concerns within the other three categories if the first one is not addressed and it could prove to be ineffective and could contribute to the victim’s isolation and self-blame and thus the danger she is in.

Some of the Ways Social Service Programs (and other helping systems ) Revictimize Battered Women

 

We don’t believe her.
We don’t recognize her strengths.
We fail to realize her manipulative tendencies are survival skills.
We question why she has stayed in the relationship or returns to it.
We question her inconsistency and react to her not following through with goals, etc….
We fault her parenting.
We “evaluate” her.
We only like “good victims” and enlightened victims.
We hold cultural biases: we are sexist, racist, and homophobic.
We take control.
We uphold unrealistic expectations.
We patronize her.
We don’t allow her much or any privacy.
We question her need for shelter protection when she makes contact with her partner.
We buy into such labeling as: co-dependency, enabler, addicted to love, etc….”the women as defective” theory.
We blame her for failing to protect her children.
We assume that leaving an abusive partner will set her free without recognizing the social abuse and stigma that low income, single women, and women-headed families face.
We fail to recognize her religious beliefs about marriage and family.
We fail to validate and/or understand her positive, even loving feelings towards her partner.
We fail to advise her about realistic outcomes of counseling for her partner.
We fail to create bridges in the community.

-Author Unknown

Resources for Employers

Workplace Safe

If your employee is in an abusive relationship and trying to end the relationship, the office may be the only place the batterer can find and harm the individual, putting coworkers at risk.

Domestic Violence can affect your work environment and impact your bottom line. Employees who are battered at home could face many daily challenges at work:

Absenteeism – no shows, late to work, early departures

Lost Productivity – lack of concentration, fatigue, increased mistakes

Increased Health Care Costs – total health care costs for family violence equals hundreds of millions of dollars, the majority often paid by employer

Workplace Safety – harassment at work from batterer

Be Proactive

Dayton’s Artemis Center, through its “Workplace Safe from Domestic Violence” program, offers training that helps employers better understand and respond to domestic violence survivors who work for them.

You can minimize the chance a tragedy will occur at your place of business.

“Workplace Safe from Domestic Violence” training will help identify employees at risk, learn proper intervention, understand and implement effective security procedures, and recognize today’s legal issues.

Call 937-461-5091 to schedule a training for your company.

Hotline Posters

Artemis Center also provides domestic violence hotline posters for places of employment. These posters are often placed in bathroom stalls. Call 937-461-5091 to request hotline posters for your workplace.

 

Resources for Employers

Workplace Safe

If your employee is in an abusive relationship and trying to end the relationship, the office may be the only place the batterer can find and harm the individual, putting coworkers at risk.

Domestic Violence can affect your work environment and impact your bottom line. Employees who are battered at home could face many daily challenges at work:

Absenteeism – no shows, late to work, early departures

Lost Productivity – lack of concentration, fatigue, increased mistakes

Increased Health Care Costs – total health care costs for family violence equals hundreds of millions of dollars, the majority often paid by employer

Workplace Safety – harassment at work from batterer

Be Proactive

Dayton’s Artemis Center, through its “Workplace Safe from Domestic Violence” program, offers training that helps employers better understand and respond to domestic violence survivors who work for them.

You can minimize the chance a tragedy will occur at your place of business.

“Workplace Safe from Domestic Violence” training will help identify employees at risk, learn proper intervention, understand and implement effective security procedures, and recognize today’s legal issues.

Call 937-461-5091 to schedule a training for your company.

Hotline Posters

Artemis Center also provides domestic violence hotline posters for places of employment. These posters are often placed in bathroom stalls. Call 937-461-5091 to request hotline posters for your workplace.

 

Resources for Family and Friends

Do you know someone who is being hurt? Or someone who is causing harm? Are you worried about what might be happening in a loved one’s relationship? You are not alone—we are here to help!

This page will help you support someone who is struggling in their relationship—and to take care of yourself while you’re doing it. People are more likely to turn to their community (friends, family, YOU) than they are to professionals.

Survivors tell us that what matters most is having someone in their life who is there for them, without judgment, to bounce ideas off, get support, and lean on when things are tough. You can be that person.

This information is adapted from Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Friends & Family Guide. Click here for a full printable version of the guide. 

What are we talking about when we talk about abuse?

Abuse is a pattern of behavior that one person uses to gain power and control over the other. These behaviors can include:

isolation

emotional abuse

monitoring

controlling the finances

physical and sexual assault

The fundamental harm of abuse is a loss of autonomy. Autonomy means independence and freedom from external control. Everyone should be free to make their own choices in relationships. As friends and family who want to help, we can restore those choices that have been restricted or taken away by abuse.

How do I know if it is abuse or just a bad relationship?

In some ways, it doesn’t matter if it’s abuse or not—if someone is being hurt or controlled, they deserve better. We want everyone to be in a healthy relationship, and people may need support to get there. The strategies in this guide can help in either case.

But it is helpful to know if it is abusive for a couple of reasons:

  1. You might need some help to support the person from a local domestic violence or sexual assault program.
  2. You will need different strategies to address safety concerns.

People who are abusive to their partners believe that:

they have a right to control their partner,

their bad behavior is justified, and

their partner is to blame for all the problems in the relationship.

They also tend to manipulate others to further their control by:

Confusing people by saying that they are the victim. This makes it harder for their partner to get support and be believed.

Using systems to limit their partner’s options. For example, calling the police to get their partner arrested or getting CPS involved to question and undermine their partner’s parenting. This entangles survivors in those systems and ensures they cannot access them for help in the future.

We know this is complicated. You can talk with an advocate anytime (you don’t have to be in crisis) to sort out how to help someone who is in an abusive relationship. You can call Artemis Center’s 24/7 Hotline at 937-461-HELP (4357) to speak with an advocate. You can also call, chat, or text the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233

What can I do to support someone experiencing abuse?

These three strategies show your willingness to show up and support someone.You don’t need to be an expert or have all the answers. Just being there and available is what people have told us helps most.

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How do I talk to someone about their abusive behavior?

No one wants to imagine that someone they care about is hurting another person. But we know these behaviors are incredibly common and that people who cause harm can be the same people we love and care about. If we are going to end domestic and sexual violence, we must figure out how to talk to these folks, too. We can help with these tips for what to say to someone who is harming their partner.

Supporting teens to have healthy relationships

Conversations with the young people in your life about relationships is always a good idea. Talking to your teenager about how their relationship makes them feel can be a window into seeing if things are healthy or unhealthy. We have lots of resources to help you get that conversation started. Check them out!

Remember: it takes an average of 6-8 times to leave an abusive relationship. Batterers want to isolate their partner, this is where it is so important to stay in touch, even if limited to remind the survivor they are not alone. 

 

Recommended Reading List

Getting Free
by Ginny NiCarthy

The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence
by Gavin DeBecker

Next Time She’ll Be Dead: Battering and How to Survive It 
by Anne Jones

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

I Can’t Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors
by Aphrodite Matsakis

Surviving a Stalker: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Yourself Safe
by Linden Gross and Gavin DeBecker

Naming the Violence: Speaking Out About Lesbian Battering
by Kerry Lobel

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
Lundy Bancroft

I Never Called It Rape
by Robin Warshaw

Invisible Wounds: A Self-Help Guide for Women in Destructive Relationships
by Kay Douglas

Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence
by David Island and Patrick Letellier

To Be an Anchor in the Storm: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women 
by Susan Brewster

Chain Chain Change: For Black Women in Abusive Relationships
by Evelyn C. White

Mejor sola que mal acompañada: para la mujer golpeada
For the Latina in an Abusive Relationship

by Myrna M. Zambrano

Click Here for our Extended Recommended Reading List

 

Local and National Domestic Violence Websites

Artemis Center

Resources for Survivors

 

StrongHearts Native Helpline: for domestic/sexual violence is available 7am-10pm CT, confidential, and specifically for Native communities:1−844-762-8483

Trans LifeLinefor peer support for trans folks 9am-3am CT:1-877-565-8860 This hotline is staffed exclusively by trans operators is the only crisis line with a policy against non-consensual active rescue.

Deaf Hotline: available 24/7 through video phone (1-855-812-1001), email and chat for Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled survivors.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 24/7, in more than 200 languages: 1-888-373-7888 or submit a tip online.

National Parent Helpline: Monday -Friday 12pm-9am CT emotional support and advocacy for parents:1-855-2736

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 24/7, confidential and free:1-800-799-7233 and through chat.

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 24/7, confidential and free:800.656.HOPE (4673) and through chat.