What to do when there is domestic violence
The issue of domestic violence is extremely serious and far too complex to be covered in a few short paragraphs in this blog. I do not want to treat it lightly, and I am not an expert on the topic. However, I do think it is important to know the available resources. If you are living in this terrible circumstance, then the stakes of your divorce are that much higher, the physical and emotional pain that you face is far greater, and the need for a support system to help you through this time and maintain your sanity is that much more urgent. You can reach out to mental health professionals, support organizations, and the courts for assistance in helping you seek safety.
– Mental health professionals. Look for someone who has training and competency in working with the dynamics of domestic violence and abuse. You may find someone with the appropriate training and understanding through your lawyer or family doctor.
– Women’s shelters. If you are in an abusive, violent relationship, you may seek refuge in a shelter for a period of time.
– The court system. You can use the courts to obtain a restraining order or a no contact order.
Help for Victims of Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) is a not-for-profit organization that provides crisis intervention, information, and referrals to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends, and families. The hotline answers a variety of calls and is a resource for domestic violence advocates, government officials, law enforcement agencies, and the general public. NDVH serves as the only domestic violence hotline in the United States and has access to more than five thousand shelters and domestic violence programs across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Shelternet is a Canadian national not-for-profit charitable organization committed to working toward the prevention of violence against women and their children. Shelternet is dedicated to decreasing barriers faced by women accessing help online, and to increasing the technological capacities of shelters for abused women and their children. The site contains special sections on topics such as understanding abuse, finding shelter, and abuse and children.
Other ways to seek help: To find help in your local area via the Internet, use a search engine such as Google (www.google.com) to look up phrases such as “assaulted women’s hotline,” “domestic violence,” “family violence,” “abusive situations,” and “shelters” along with the name of your city or area.
Call 911 or your local police if you are in immediate danger.