Am I in an abusive relationship?
How can I support someone who is being abused?
Keep reaching out and don’t give up.
If you’re reading this section, then you’re already on the right track. Every person’s story is different, with one exception: having the support of family and friends. Support is the best predictor of recovery during and after intimate partner violence or sexual assault.
We know that abusive people frequently attempt to isolate their partners from their support networks. When they succeed, survivors are cut off from the resources they need. When family and friends refuse to be chased away – when you keep reaching out and don’t give up – this is the best gift you can give your loved one who is being abused.
Do everything you can to get educated about intimate partner violence or sexual assault. Tap into the abundant internet resources out there. Call our Helpline and learn about local resources. And remember the most important thing: stay in touch. When your loved one reaches out to you for help, you’ll be ready.
What should I do if I’ve been sexually assaulted?
You are not alone, and there are resources to help you find your way through.
Here’s a quick list of steps to help get you started. Remember you can always call our Helpline for advice or support.
Are you safe? Call 911 if you need help right now.
Reach out for support. Call a friend, a parent, or any trusted loved one.
Consider your medical options. Call the ER if you have questions, or just go in.
Consider your legal options. Call our Helpline to discuss your choices.
Process your experience. Consider mental health counseling.
The signs of intimate partner violence can be hard to spot.
Intimate partner violence wears many hats, including physical, verbal, emotional, financial, and spiritual abuse. It starts small and escalates over time. People who are abusive are often master manipulators.
Intimate partner violence is all about power and control, leaving the survivor feeling unsafe, unheard, and unequal in the relationship. Being abused changes people, including the way they thinks about themselves. Behavior that we would say is unacceptable before sudden feels tolerable under the new rules of an abusive relationship.
By the time the abuse becomes physically violent, survivors usually feel confused, isolated, and disheartened. It can feel difficult to reach out for help.
If you want to talk through what’s happening in your relationship with a confidential and nonjudgmental ear, call our Helpline. We believe you.