Where To Look For Online Domestic Violence Resources
Updated February 28, 2020
Reviewer Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
If you or someone you care about is a victim of domestic violence, it can seem like there is nowhere to turn. This is largely like domestic violence, which involves a family member causing physical harm to another family member. This can leave victims of domestic violence feeling trapped or helpless.
Domestic violence is also often accompanied by emotional abuse which can include threats and lies about the justice system, leaving many victims of domestic violence feeling as though they cannot count on the law for protection. While domestic violence is illegal in the United States, it is difficult for the average person to navigate the legal system or even know where to begin or who to talk to, making it even more difficult for victims of domestic violence to find a way out of their dangerous and unfortunate situation.
Fortunately, there are resources for victims of domestic violence. These resources are often made available by non-profit organizations or government agencies who offer emotional or material support, education, and legal help to victims of domestic violence.
This article will list some of these agencies and organizations that offer resources for domestic violence victims, as well as how to contact them and some of the resources that they offer.
Victims of domestic violence are usually married women, though men, children, and people in other domestic roles can also be victims of domestic violence. Many of the resources listed in this article are offered by organizations and agencies who deal specifically with helping women. This is common among organizations that offer shelter to victims, and among older organizations that were formed when society was less aware of male victims of domestic violence and when violence against children was more socially accepted. Most of the organizations and agencies listed in this article, however, will help anyone who accesses the page or otherwise reaches out to them, regardless of age, gender, or domestic role. Some of the organizations or agencies listed also cater specifically to children.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline was developed in the mid-1990s using grant money and official authorization from then-President Bill Clinton. At the time, the hotline was only a hotline, which users had to call. Resources continued to expand and beginning in 2013 users of the site got the option to chat online with representatives to get help, though you can still call the hotline at (800)799-7233.
The hotline offers many of its internal documents offering help for both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence who want to learn to navigate domestic relationships without violence. Help offered includes documents for understanding the causes of domestic violence, ways to find legal representation, and guides to understanding the laws regarding domestic violence in your area. There are also links to state coalitions against domestic violence and other more localized resources.
HelpGuide.org is not devoted entirely to the topic of domestic abuse but instead offers information and resources on dealing with a variety of mental and behavioral help issues. This website has a page dedicated to resources for victims of domestic violence. The page includes resources on understanding and identifying domestic abuse, as well as suggestions on how to recognize signs of domestic violence in other people and how to get help for yourself or for someone you believe to be a victim of domestic violence.
The United States Department Of Justice
The United States Department of Justice keeps a page devoted to offering resources to victims of domestic violence. This page includes the legal definition of domestic violence, as well as advice on how to get legal protection and assistance in different situations. Because the perpetrators of domestic violence often spread false information about the legal system and its relationship to domestic violence, this page is particularly valuable in that it offers legal information curated by the Department of Justice.
The Department Of Health And Human Services
Another nationally funded organization offering resources to victims of domestic violence is the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. Their organization offers crisis resources at (800)537-2238, but their website also offers resources for individuals who want to contribute to ending domestic violence by doing community outreach, getting politically involved, or donating and volunteering to organizations that support victims of domestic violence. The page also links to resources for victims of domestic violence who are also members of at-risk communities like religious, ethnic, and cultural minorities, Americans who are living abroad when they encounter domestic violence, and teenage victims of violence outside of the home.
New Hope is another organization that offers services for victims of domestic violence, and also offers resources for people interested in preventing domestic violence through education and outreach. Their website is a great place to find statistics on domestic violence, as well as information on how domestic violence impacts individuals, families, and the community. For more immediate assistance, you can also reach their hotline at (800)233-4673.
Women's Advocates is based in St. Paul Minnesota and runs America's largest shelter program for victims of domestic violence. The group started out as a phone-only hotline in 1972.
Their website offers information on identifying domestic violence and other issues, as well as organizations that victims can contact to get help finding shelter and medical services in case of an emergency. The site also has a 24/7 crisis line that you can reach at (651)227-8284. The crisis line connects you with advocates who can offer emotional support, legal advice, and other services. You can also reach Women's Advocates by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately, not all victims of domestic violence are adults, and sometimes children are the most vulnerable witnesses of domestic violence when it happens to a parent or family member. Kidpower.org is dedicated to providing young people with information on how they can stay safe in a variety of situations, as well as how they can recognize and report these situations to get help for the people involved. The site has a specific article on domestic violence that specifically addresses children, explaining the situation as it might impact them and educating children on how they may be able to recognize signs of domestic abuse in their peers and how to bring the issue up with an adult.
How To Find Help Near You
The organizations and agencies listed in this article are national organizations and agencies who offer help and resources to anyone who reaches out to them. There are also many smaller and more localized organizations in communities across the country. It is these organizations that offer most of the material resources to victims of domestic violence when it occurs, or who offer shelter to the victims in their greatest hour of need. To find organizations like this near you, consider talking to police officers and religious leaders in your community, or looking for information at locations like city hall and area chambers of commerce.
Resources For Perpetrators Of Domestic Violence
While it is fortunate that there are so many agencies and organizations providing resources for victims of domestic violence, it is very unfortunate that there is a reason to have so many organizations. This article has only introduced organizations and agencies that offer support to the direct victims of domestic violence, though there are also resources available for people who are touched by domestic violence in other ways, such as the children of homes that have seen domestic violence.
Although the victims of domestic violence need to receive love and support, it is important to remember that the perpetrators of domestic violence are also in need of help. There are organizations like the Ananias Foundation that are dedicated to providing resources to the perpetrators of domestic violence so that they can stop hurting those around them and lead peaceful and constructive lives. Many of the resources listed above also offer resources to the perpetrators of domestic violence.
Finding A Therapist Or Counselor
If you are the victim of domestic violence, your priority should be getting to a place where you will be physically safe. Once you have been removed from the dangerous situation, you should begin to seek professional help for recovering from the emotional distress of the situation.
If you have been in the situation for a long time, it is possible that you are not fully aware of the emotional damage that may have been done, or it is possible that you managed to escape the situation without incurring the emotional damage that others in situations of domestic violence have suffered. Still, it can be good to talk to a therapist or counselor, who can often pick up on issues that you may not be aware of.
If you are in a situation that has not involved domestic violence, but you fear that it might, that is also the best time to talk to a therapist, before you find yourself in need of any of the resources mentioned above. For information on finding online therapists who can help you navigate your relationship or help you recover from domestic violence, visit https://www.betterhelp.com/start.