Every year, 10 million Americans are victims of abuse, according to estimates from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. While this problem may be widespread, it doesn’t often appear that way. Whether from embarrassment or fear of retaliation, many people opt to keep abuse secret and avoid domestic violence counseling. Unfortunately, letting the problem go unaddressed can cause victims to put their lives in danger. If you or someone you love is facing this challenge, here are a few safe ways to seek help.
How Victims of Abuse Can Seek Help
1. Call a Hotline
Whether you have concerns about your relationship or are being physically abused, you can speak to a caring, confidential person immediately by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233. If you can’t use the phone, the organization also offers free online chats. The resource provides support and insight into domestic abuse and can help you explore additional ways to seek assistance.
2. Explore Community Resources
Many local communities offer free and low-cost resources to victims of domestic abuse. For example, if you need a place to stay away from an abusive partner, you should look up shelters in the area. If you need a safe discussion space to process the problem, a local support group may also be a helpful option.
3. Seek Domestic Violence Counseling
Domestic violence counseling is widely available throughout the country and can provide a safe, confidential space to explore the concerns you have at home. By talking to a licensed and trusted therapist, you can get an outside view on the health of your relationship and develop a strategy to leave your partner—or improve the relationship.
4. Tell a Friend or Family Member
If you are not willing to share the details of domestic violence with strangers, then reach out to those in your support network—such as close friends and relatives. Loved ones may be able to offer you or your children a safe space to stay, assistance seeking legal help, or a listening ear.
5. Prepare to Leave
If your home environment is or may become threatening, it’s best to prepare ahead of time to leave. Begin storing valuables away from home and saving small amounts of cash to create a nest egg.
If you or someone you love is struggling with domestic abuse, White Spruce Counseling can help. Offering comprehensive domestic violence counseling services in Rochester, NY, this therapist can address various relationships issues in a safe, confidential, and productive environment. The provider also specializes in mental health and PTSD counseling to help individuals recover from previous episodes of violence. To learn more about these services, visit the counselor online. For appointments, call a caring team member at (585) 424-2436.