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Domestic Abuse (cont.)

Check Your Symptoms

Home Treatment

After abuse starts, it usually gets worse if steps are not taken to stop it. If you are in an abusive relationship, ask for help. This may be hard, but know that you are not alone. Help is available. Call:

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline toll-free at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233), or see the website at www.ndvh.org.
  • The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline toll-free at 1-866-331-9474 or (1-866-331-8453 TTY).
  • The Childhelp Line toll-free at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453), or see the website at www.childhelp.org.

If you feel threatened, it is very important to develop a plan for dealing with a threatening situation. If your partner has threatened to harm you or your child, seek help.

  • Anytime you are in danger, call .
  • If you do not have a safe place to stay, tell a friend, a religious counselor, or your doctor. Do not feel that you have to hide what is happening.
  • Have a plan for how to leave your house, where to go, and where to stay in case you need to get out quickly. Do not tell your partner about your plan.
  • For more help in developing your plan, call:
    • The National Domestic Violence Hotline toll-free at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233), or see the website at www.ndvh.org.
    • Your local YMCA, YWCA, police department, hospital, or clinic for the local crisis line or for names of shelters and safe homes near you.

Here are some other things you can do:

  • If you are seeing a counselor, be sure to go to all appointments.
  • Teach your children how to call for help in an emergency.
  • Be alert to warning signs, such as threats or drinking. This can help you avoid danger.
  • If you can, make sure that there are no guns or other weapons in your home.
  • If you are working, contact your human resources department or employee assistance program to find out what help is available to you.

If you are no longer living with a violent partner, contact the police to get a restraining order if your abuser continues to pursue you, threaten you, or act violently toward you.

If you have been a victim of abuse and continue to have problems related to the abuse, you may have depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For more information, see the topics Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If you know someone who may be abused

Here are some things you can do to help a friend or family member.

  • Let your friend know that you are willing to listen whenever she or he wants to talk. Don't confront your friend if she or he is not ready to talk. Encourage your friend to talk with her or his health professional, human resources manager, and supervisor to see what resources might be available.
  • Tell your friend that the abuse is not her or his fault and that no one deserves to be abused. Remind your friend that domestic violence is against the law and that help is available. Be understanding if she or he is unable to leave. Your friend knows the situation best and when it is safest to leave.
  • If your friend has children, gently point out that you are concerned that the violence is affecting them. Many people do not understand that their children are being harmed until someone else talks about this concern.
  • Encourage and help your friend develop a plan for staying safe while in an abusive relationship. Help if she or he is preparing to leave a violent relationship. Learn about how the person can stay safe after leaving.
  • The most dangerous time for your friend may be when she or he is leaving the abusive relationship, so any advice about leaving must be informed and practical.

The most important step is to help your friend contact local domestic violence groups. There are programs across the country that provide options for safety, support, needed information and services, and legal support. To find the nearest program, call:

  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline toll-free at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233), or see the website at www.ndvh.org.
  • The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline toll-free at 1-866-331-9474 or (1-866-331-8453 TTY).

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

If problems from domestic abuse become more frequent or severe, call your doctor to determine if and when you need to see your doctor or get other help.

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