Resources To Help Cope With Domestic Violence: Shelters, Hotlines, Groups, And More
Updated February 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Kristen Hardin
Domestic abuse is a serious issue that many women and men face. Sometimes, there are red flags that can point to abuse or potential abuse, but not always. It can be surprising to realize that your partner is abusive or that someone you know well is in an abusive relationship. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, do not give up hope. It is possible to get the assistance that you need to end this difficult situation. You may not feel safe right now, but things can change for the better. Through the use of shelters, hotlines, support groups, and therapists, you will be able to take your life back. It may take some time and effort, but you will have people that will support and guide you.
Hotlines Are An Important Resources
Domestic violence hotlines are very important resources that you should be aware of. These hotlines can help to save people from very dangerous situations. Sometimes the victims of domestic abuse are in very controlling relationships. They may find it difficult to get time to themselves, and this makes leaving a very difficult prospect. In this situation, calling a hotline when you get a moment alone can be the best course of action to take.
Modern times have caused the concept of these hotlines to evolve as well. You can get help by texting a hotline rather than having to make an actual phone call. This can be much more practical for domestic abuse victims as they can reach out for help without alerting their abuser. It can be the most convenient solution to getting the help that you need.
A hotline can alert the authorities to you if you need this type of help. If this isn't what you are trying to do, then it is also possible to simply speak to someone trained in domestic violence assistance. The person on the other end at the hotline cares about helping you. They want you to be able to get the help that you need so that you can be safe. It may feel like an impossible situation to you, but they talk to people who are in abusive relationships every day and have probably helped someone with circumstances similar to yours before.
Sometimes it can be difficult to gather the courage to call or text a hotline. Domestic abuse victims know all too well that their abuser may lash out at them if they find out. Calling or texting when you have some privacy and are safe is a good time to be able to make a plan. It is generally advised to leave when you have a plan and know what you are going to do rather than fleeing with no plan.
One good hotline that you can reach out to can be found at https://www.thehotline.org/. Another good one is https://www.crisistextline.org, and it is very easy to use. You can text this hotline to be connected to a counselor who will assist you with your situation. They are familiar with helping many different types of abuse victims. Whether it is your spouse who is abusing you or if another family member is abusing you, they will be ready to listen and help you.
Finding Domestic Violence Shelters Near Me
One of the best things that you can do to find the resources that you need is to perform a quick search online. There are many different shelters for domestic violence victims available. You need to find one that is close enough for you to be able to reach it. If you can search online then simply look for a phrase such as "domestic violence shelter" and add the name of the city you're in. Even if your specific city doesn't have a shelter, there will likely be one in a neighboring town that you can use.
Calling one of the many domestic violence hotlines will prove to be beneficial as well. If you are too overwhelmed to research domestic violence shelters yourself, then they will be able to assist you. It is possible that you aren't even capable of researching without being caught by your abuser. Though, many of the websites for shelters and domestic violence resources understand this and have safety measures in place such as a button that makes the screen disappear immediately in the event your abuser walks up behind you.
Once you have found the right domestic violence shelter, you can reach out to them whenever you feel comfortable. They can provide you with everything that you need and will help you through this scary time. When you are the victim of such abuse, it can feel like your entire world has crumbled down around you.
Getting yourself to the domestic violence shelter can be the first step to safety. There are people there who can provide you with counseling, and they will also be able to keep you safe. While you're seeking solace at the shelter, your abuser is not going to be able to harm you. The tumultuous times that they have put you through will stop, and you can begin to move on to a brighter chapter of your life if you work with the counselors in the shelter and follow the plan you and they create together.
Are There Male Domestic Violence Shelters?
Yes, you should be able to find male domestic violence shelters. While more women than men are believed to be abused, there are many men who are in abusive relationships and need help. It is important for male victims to be able to get the help that they need. It can be difficult for many men to admit that they are being abused either physically or emotionally. Finding the proper support is helpful for victims to be able to get the help they need and move on with their lives free from abuse.
Many domestic violence shelters will help out victims of all genders. You will find some specific male domestic violence shelters that exist, but they may not be common in your area. It does depend on where you're from and the type of resources that are available. Most major cities have domestic violence shelters, even smaller towns and areas have them as well. Making some inquiries in advance about whether they will help male victims may prove to be beneficial.
Even once you have left the person that was abusing you, it can still be difficult to cope with the experience. You probably don't feel like the same person and parts of your experience may seem surreal. You may feel like it is difficult to move on with your life and make decisions. Whether you suffered from emotional abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse, you will be able to seek out help. There are others who have been through similar situations to yours, and you can find new strength with this support.
Support groups can help domestic violence victims to cope with the things that were done to them. Nothing can erase what happened, but you can learn to accept this period of your life and regain your inner strength. If you have been having a tough time with readjusting to life after an abusive relationship, then it will be very beneficial to reach out to a group. Just knowing that you are not alone can be extremely comforting.
Your experiences and your strength can potentially help others. Both male and female domestic violence victims can benefit greatly by joining support groups. If this is something that you feel would have a positive impact on your life, then you should look into joining one.
Counselors And Therapists Can Help Too
It can be very helpful to consider therapy to help you move on as well. People who have had domestic abuse situations in their life often suffer from depression and severe anxiety after the fact. This is completely normal, and a counselor can help you process your story and teach you coping skills to deal with depression and anxiety.
Your experience may have hurt your ability to trust and can prevent you from having meaningful relationships. The pain that you are carrying around with you on a daily basis does not have to be permanent. It is possible to reach out to professional therapists and counselors to work through the trauma of your abuse experience. You don't even have to go into an office for the traditional therapy experience if you do not want to or are not able to. BetterHelp is an online platform with thousands of trained and licensed therapists ready to help you.
Signing up at https://www.betterhelp.com/start/ will allow you to get matched with a counselor who can assist you. They will take the time to talk with you about your abuse experiences and will allow you to work through your issues. You can work with your therapist in a variety of ways: phone and video sessions, live chat sessions, and you can also simply exchange messages, very similar to e-mail, on the secure platform.
If you have anxiety problems or depression, or any other issues that you need help with, then you deserve to be helped by a compassionate counselor. With their help, it will feel easier to reach the next chapter of your life. Over time, you will be able to learn to cope with your situation much better. Your future relationships can be safe and you can live a healthy, happy life.